Are you tired of Grand Canyon photos yet? Hopefully not 'cause I have one more post to share.
After our rainy hike into the canyon on the North Kaibab Trail, my hubby and I returned to our campsite to change into dry clothes. It was still early afternoon though, and we weren't ready to be done for the day.
|Colorful ground patterns
Our map indicated another viewpoint, Point Imperial, on a plateau 11 miles away. Although low, rain-spitting clouds obscured the skies, we decided to check it out anyway.
|Hello there deer!
On the way out of the campground, I spotted a lovely grove of golden aspens. Convincing my hubby to pull over for a few photos, I discovered we weren't alone.
|Large herd near the campground
A large herd of deer was hanging out nearby. They were too busy grazing to even notice as I approached, camera in hand. Even when one finally looked up, he just gave me a quick stare and went back to his lunch.
|More wonderful aspens
Then it was back down a narrow, winding forest service road to reach Point Imperial. Heavy rain pelted our car the entire journey, briefly turning to sleet at one point. Our car thermometer was registering a few degrees above freezing. Hmmm.....was this really such a good idea?
|Point Imperial viewpoint
But as Point Imperial's sign came into view, the rain miraculously tapered off. Roger and I walked down to the viewpoint and - yahoo - discovered the clouds were starting to part. A man standing nearby told us this area been completely socked in with fog only a few minutes ago.
At 8,800 feet, Point Imperial is the highest viewpoint on either rim. With the clouds clearing away, I could catch glimpses of canyon walls on the opposite side. Narrow, winding side canyons and beautifully banded rock formations spread out from all sides. Another impressive Grand Canyon vista!
Although breathtaking, the air was cold! My hands started to freeze. After spending five minutes snapping images, I had to retreat back to the car. Roger followed, and we huddled inside with the heater blasting.
|Such brilliant colors
I was just about to suggest leaving when Roger exclaimed: "I see a rainbow!" Sure enough, a brilliant band of color was arching over the canyon. Forgetting all about the cold temperatures, I grabbed my camera and hustled back to the viewpoint.
|Roger enjoys the show
Oh what a spectacular sight! The clouds parted and let in just enough light to illuminate a nearby rocky spine. The rainbow hovered over this ridge, showing off its lovely colors. So unexpected on this overcast, rainy day.
Seeing that rainbow more than made up for our miserable wet morning. As a matter of fact, it was the highlight of my Grand Canyon visit. As the clouds cleared even more, the distant canyon walls came into view. I even got a good shot of Mount Hayden's rocky pinnacle jutting up from a nearby red ridge.
|Only in the Grand Canyon!
Driving back to camp, the rain started up again, and we passed by an area of sleety snow on the road. Temps hovered close to freezing. I thought about our soaking wet tent, drenched by the morning's deluge. It had rained so hard water had penetrated the seams, dampening our sleeping bags. I dreaded spending another cold night in a wet, leaky tent.
|Sunset at Bright Angel Point
Remembering the large resort I'd seen at Jacob Lake, 40 miles down the road, I suggested getting a room for the night. It took some convincing (all right - more like outright whining) but my hubby finally gave in.
|Some clouds hanging on
One quick phone call and credit card number secured a small cabin for the night. Happily, I packed up our wet gear and bid the slanting campsite goodbye.
|Last light on the mountaintops
Before departing, Roger insisted we take in one last Grand Canyon sunset. Returning to Bright Angel Point, I set up my tripod and joined a small group of other visitors waiting for the sun to drop.
The clouds returned and blotted out most of the sky causing the night's sunset to be woefully underwhelming. But I did get a few stunning final images of this magnificent place.
|Goodbye Grand Canyon!
Despite the disappointing weather, I'd had a marvelous two days. The Grand Canyon was everything I'd hoped it to be - gorgeous, breathtaking, unique, jaw-dropping. There's truly nothing else like it. Next time, I'm planning to visit the South Rim....and maybe, just maybe I'll hike all the way to the very bottom.
But tomorrow my hubby and I were heading to the final National Park in our trip - Bryce Canyon.
Sharing with: Saturday's Critters and Through My Lens