This was to be our easy day – to recover from Observation Point and rest for another hike tomorrow. We had intended to go back to Zion but after giving The Wave permit lottery one more shot before we left Kanab but…. WE GOT PERMITS! The last bingo ball called from the wheel was ours, taking the last two hiking permits for tomorrow away from all the disappointed faces. Suck it, WE’RE GOING TO THE WAVE!
Obnoxious celebration aside, we sat through a half hour orientation on what to do with our permits and how to get to the rock formation (how ironic if we spent all day looking for the damn thing) then we decided to drive 80 miles to the Grand Canyon North Rim to chill out in anticipation of our plans the following day. Now, I’ve made this rant before but I’m going to say it again… the south rim of the Grand Canyon is an overrated tourist trap. It may be 209 miles extra driving but the north rim is worth the detour, for the following reasons in photographic form:
1). The surrounding area is more beautiful than the south rim:
2). It is more apocalyptic:
3). The rim view is just as stunning:
4). They have buffalo roaming free:
5). The park and hiking trails are empty, even in peak visiting season:
6). The lodge and cabins are epic:
The man who runs the gift store was closing up for the season and told us that he was one of nine people staying at the lodge over winter, for maintenance work but he also intended to write a book. He had left his life as an attorney in DC because he craved solitude - his idea of solitude is five months snowed into the lodge with only a snowmobile to get away from the axe murderers (or get him to an axe store, depending which way it goes). I asked if he was worried about a Shining–esque scenario; he laughed and clicked a counter on his belt, telling me I was the 367th person to ask him that. He didn’t seem worried. He said he would never have an opportunity like this again. The only thing that worried him was the intensity of a raven’s wing beat over the deserted canyon and whether the silence would get to him. He is my new spirit guide. I WANT HIS LIFE.
After a relaxed afternoon strolling down the various rim trails and vista points (of which there are many), we dove back out to Kanab to the most mundane task of laundry. Would love to stay and chat some more but we’ve got to prepare ourselves for The Wave and that includes an attempted early night (not binge-watching American Horror Story, no matter how tempting….).