I was planning on taking S. Kaibab to Tonto across to Bright Angel buuuut my morning didn't start off so hot
So I woke up late, drove the suby to the "rock Star Parking" and caught the next shuttle out to Hermit's Rest....yaaaay Hermit's Rest whooo....
And from there I just started walking, at a Skunk Creek Trail pace, east along the South Rim Trail...I wanted to see everything the South Rim has to offer, which actually is a LOT more than expected!!
Thanks to Butchart and Tomasi
I gathered a ton of "secrets" the night before and was able to spot quite a few of them for myself along the way, my camera on the other hand was unable to, but if you're ever feeling lazy I can point the way!
((Also apparently I need a GPS because the S. Rim Trail doesn't have a track??? Ugh, I had to free hand it to get my exact mileage
Anywho, from HR to "The Village" I didn't spot much because I was cussing at myself for walking this section of the trail again (Uncle Chum and I skipped merrily down it barely two weeks ago heading west and I promised myself I'd never do that again unless I had my daughter with me!!)
What seemed like ten hours later I made it to the bus depot above Mallery's Grotto (near the BA TH) and ignoring the looks of tourists I scrambled down to view the rock art from above, the lighting sucked and my photos were awful (worse than usual anyway!!)
I then raced down to the Flagpole by El Tovar trying to catch a glimpse of "something" off the west side, no luck, I oughta try finding it from below, off trail, first so I might spot it easier from above next time!!
I did spot the old cableway/tram ruins from way up there though (thanks to some old guy's binoculars!) From there I ran like a bat out of hell to Yavapai (wasn't I sick this morning why am I running?!?!)
I popped in to the geology Museum and overheard a ranger nature talk was ending just ways down the trail toward Mather so I darted back out and ran in to none other than our dear friend Ranger Cutie Pie, she knew me in an instant, we had a quick chat, in the end we both agreed the best way to find what I wanted to find in that area was a jaunt down the Tonto and a climb up a ravine...next adventure!!! We said goodbye and I brisked down to Mather Amphitheatre where Ranger Rick was giving another mature talk, awesome! Break time, I was tired...after I asked Rick the same things I asked Ranger Kristi I tore off my shirt (which by the way is the ONLY HAZ shirt I own) and pranced down the trail in my bikini top, such a lovely day to get a tan!
At Mather Point I joined a throng of tourists and was able to spot a gorgeous Pinnacle that sits due east and down below the lookout, Old Ornery Mike Weaver says it can be reached from Tonto Trail also, sounds like Tonto Trail is the place to be!
From here I forget everything I saw of importance (shush, I was tired!) but somehow made it to the place near Pipe Creek Lookout/Vista, pretty sure somewhere around here is where I parked then hiked along the rim trail to reach S. Kaibab last time I was out this way, which was saturday, also where I threw up after doing rim to river and back
Some gorgeous views along this stretch of the S. Rim trail, Wotan's seems to loom nearer and nearer with every step! Some tourists caught me naming the landmarks to myself (honestly I thought I was alone!) and asked me to point them out to them, which I gladly did, of course!
Somewhere along the way I made it to S. Kaibab TH and while petting the mules I spotted my coworker Kenny, he had just finished rim to river and back via S. Kaibab, he said it was his first time along that trail and loved it, we shared stories and I invited him to join me to Shoshone point, poor guy had no idea what he was getting in to.
We cut through the woods toward Yaki Point startling some gorgeous stellar's blue jays, those things are hard to catch on camera! And we crossed paths with two elkers. Then we came up to Yaki point took a few photos, skipped the bus stop and staircase and cut through the woods along a dirt trail that eventually turned into a rocky scree trail then back to a dusty dirt trail, about 15 minutes along we encountered a loud whirring noise, I grabbed Kenny by the backpack and we darted behind a tree as 5 HUGE Zamboni looking tractor mabobber things came bumbling down the trail disrupting our solitude!!!
We laughed and made a game (it's been a long day!!) out of avoiding the Zambonis and tromped through the forest more or less playing "cowboys and Indians" which is funny because I found out along the trek that Kenny is a full Navajo! Awesome!
We finally broke into a small clearing that had 2 restrooms, multiple picnicking areas and a "fenced in" amphitheater. Everything I've read says this is "for park use only", riiiight.
There was not a soul in sight since we left Yaki Point and we bounced down to the actual Point where a 7 maybe 8 foot tall rock (in the sporadic shape of an edgy mushroom) rises up from the platform. For some unknown reason my phone decided to chime in that it had signal, so I managed to inform my Uncle where I was and he was quick so suggest I climb the rock...well, what else was I gonna do?! I climbed the rock!
I wanted to go further but I was tired and quickly boring of this pathetic excuse for a "trail", we ended up gallivanting through the woods all the way back to S. Kaibab TH totally bypassing Yaki Point which probably would have been the better choice for picking up the shuttle...whatever!!
We hopped the shuttle back to the village where we parted ways and I ended up at home with my head in books cross referencing all the "secrets" I missed or could not find...I feel like I left a lot out but whatever, I'm tired. Goodnight!!