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North Rim Campground
5 Photosets

2016-09-28  
2013-08-31  
2013-06-09  
2012-08-31  
2012-08-31  
mini location map2016-09-28
2 by photographer avatarAZWanderingBear
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North Rim CampgroundNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Car Camping avatar Sep 28 2016
AZWanderingBear
Car Camping2.00 Miles 300 AEG
Car Camping2.00 Miles
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
AZBeaver
Normally I wouldn't write up a campground, but this one is worth it. Besides providing a good night's sleep our second night out on our ten day Fall journey, we got to meet one of the Canyon's legends.

While waiting for our table at the lodge for dinner we struck up a conversation with an older gentleman with a nice accent, wavy hair and a deeply etched face. At first the conversation was just the polite things you say to strangers in an interesting place. Eventually we asked where he was from and pointed across the Canyon to the lights of the South Rim. "Just west of that light right there." He said the Fred Harvey company hired him in 1972 to be a chef at the El Tovar. He lived in Switzerland at the time, but took the job. He hasn't left the Canyon since. He lives off the grid in a cabin on an old mining claim on the South Rim, just west of that light. He's hiked most of the Canyon, done some raft trips, went down to Phantom during the huge flood of '83 to hear the boom of the truck and room-sized boulders rolling along the bottom of the River. He asked about our plans and nodded appreciably when we said we were headed out to Point Sublime in the morning offering some advice but more phrased as observations from his visits there.

Sometimes you know when you are in the presence of a true character, a person who has actually created himself as opposed to copying others. I got that feeling during the few minutes we spent on the patio looking across the darkness of the Canyon at the South Rim lights, lightning flashes from far away storms giving us quick glimpses of the outlines of vastness around us. We got called for dinner and reluctantly said our goodbyes and expressed our appreciation for his insights. He nodded politely and shook our hands wishing us safe travels. We hadn't offered our names and he hadn't told us his.

A week later sitting around a fire at Stateline Campground we told a friend about the encounter. "I know who that is", he said running to fetch his iPad. He pulled up an article from Arizona Highways and there was the deeply etched face and clear eyes of the man we met. Eric Gueissaz is a true character of the Canyon.

The moral of the story is this. Pitch your tent some place, any place, and then be open for what ever might happen. Grab that opportunity when its there. Dinner can wait.

https://vimeo.com/6376...
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AZWanderingBear's
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