We enjoyed the quiet time at North Rim. It gave us time to catch up on a couple of projects, AND enjoy some pleasant hiking of the neighboring trails.
One thing I accomplished was updating my FLORA OF THE NORTH RIM albums. I added 15 plants to the books. There are still a few more waiting for confirmation, but due to the Sequestering/Furlough, I have been unable to access some websites and people. It was good though to get the 15 plant pictures and info cards completed and placed in the albums. As I completed the task of updating, I counted that there are now 126 plants identified and photographed in the two albums. These albums are located in the Visitor Center for reference material for both rangers and visitors.
Every morning and afternoon during our furloughed time we went for a good walk. There was a marked increase in sightings of deer and kaibab squirrels. They definitely appreciated the quieter park. As we packed up to leave the ravens had taken over the housing area and were out looking for things to eat or play with.
On Monday, October 7 we made the decision to call it a season. It appeared to us that the members of congress were not going to come to an early settlement. As the North Rim season ends on October 15th, we decided that we wanted to head for San Diego. Another motivator was the weather forecast for Wednesday evening was a very good chance of snow. (It turns out that the forecast was correct in that they had about 4 inches of snow that night.)
I had started the packing process a little on Sunday, and got more into it on Monday. One of the other volunteers came by and organized a farewell for us to be on Tuesday evening at Ranger Gaelyn’s trailer. We succeeded in getting a great deal done on Tuesday and looked forward to moving out on Wednesday morning.
We had no idea who was around or who would attend the potluck, and we were very surprised by the turnout and testimonies. (This was the conclusion of ten summers of volunteering at the North Rim.) We were sent on our way with wonderful mementos from Park Service personnel, Wranglers, and Forever Resorts personnel. George got a royal thank you from the Law Enforcement staff, and we received lovely mementos from various coworkers, etc.
The North Rim Wall in the family room will soon have a new picture drawn by Vickie Loveless titled “Through the Mule’s Ears”, as well a carved NPS wooden arrowhead by John McFarland with written notes from staff on the back. (John works in Maintenance is an accomplished flint knapper, knife maker, and wood carver.) One of the rangers gave us condor coffee mugs, and our department boss made earrings for me, and an arrowhead pendant
for George. We also got memento t-shirts from Forever Resorts.
On Wednesday morning we did one final walk to the Lodge to take in the view before breakfast. This has been a tradition of ours every week on one of our days off. All was very quiet with not a car in the visitor parking lots, and only a few people working at cleaning and painting around the Lodge. We did not see any deer on this walk, but did see a kaibab squirrel, and a few birds including the ravens keeping watch. Finally we got the trailer completely empty and cleaned out and we were ready to head for St. George.
The weather was threatening, but we did not get rained on. Once in St. George we settled into the Super 8 Motel and headed off for an afternoon walk. We walked to Smith’s Grocery where we picked up some bananas and started
to think about getting a deli sandwich for dinner. Suddenly we were greeted by Hiran who is the owner of the Motel. We have made his acquaintance over the years. He was tasting some fresh sushi and suggested we get some
for our dinner. After visiting with him and his oldest son, we acted on the suggestion. It was a nice treat and different.
The drive home on Thursday started with rain which lasted about an hour when we outran the storm. We made it
through Las Vegas early enough to beat the morning rush hour traffic. The remainder of the drive home went smoothly, and we were home by 1400 after a quick stop at a grocery store for milk and half-n-half for coffee.
We started the unpacking process and got quite a bit done before calling it a day about 1800. We both thoroughly enjoyed our hot showers before having vegetarian pizza delivered.
The next few days were spent unpacking, cleaning, and then storing gear, clothes, and memorabilia. As with any moving, it made us do a little cleaning out of stuff in our house. We now have to call AMVETS to come pick up discarded books, cooking gear, clothing, etc. There is still research to be done with regard to flora, photographs to sort through, and letters to write. We should be back in the San Diego mode in another day or two.
This will mean getting back into volunteering at our regional park, Mission Trails where we do trail patrols, nature walks, and occasional Visitor Center Duty. We also need to get out and do some exploring of our back country this time of year for wildlife and scenics. I will be joining friends for hikes, as well as photo adventures right here in San Diego County.
We had a busy and fulfilling summer at the North Rim. We met and worked with wonderful people, and look forward to keeping in contact. Happy and safe trails to all. Thanks for the memories.
|Fall Color along Widforss Plateau|
|Early Morning Stroll|
|Parking Lot for No. Kaibab Trail|
|Grand Canyon Lodge|
The RavenMaven flies on to new adventures.
Thanks for visiting.