Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22757 – 971
Here’s the haps:
Really. The Grand Canyon is probably one of the most aptly named places ever. This is definitely a place to go back to again and again. There is way too much to see and do in one trip. We had decided early on in our planning this trip that we wanted to have a guided tour to help us make the most of the limited time we had. We were not disappointed. We went with Buck Wild Hummer Tours and had a grand time.
The candy store next to them offers a discount to anyone taking the tour so as we waited we looked at the fudge and decided to get several flavors after the adventure. The Humm-Vee was a 1991 AM General High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Army surplus model that held 12 passengers.
The hardest part is right now, deciding which pictures were the best and posting only them. There were still a lot after I cut out a bunch of them. We didn’t get to know a lot about our fellow passengers but we had a priest and his friend who were from France and spoke French to each other most of the time. They knew English, at least enough to take care of the business of the tour. also a mother/daughter team who flew into the Grand Canyon airport and spoke a language we didn’t recognize.
Our tour guide, Ted, was an interesting man. Before working for Buck Wild Tours he was a construction worker in New York whose boss was a Navajo and introduced him to his sister. She persuaded him to move to Arizona and become a cowboy, which he did for several years, working cattle in the Grand Canyon. One thing led to another and he became a park ranger and wound up handling the mules. Even during Covid they still had to exercise the animals and it was snowy and wet and the mule he was on lost her footing and rolled down the canyon three times for about a hundred and fifty feet, crushing him under her each time. They were caught in a juniper tree before they could fall any farther. The mule got up, unhurt, and came back and kept licking his face, trying to get him to get up. There was a group of Marines that were on leave who helped get him out of there. He had a crushed shoulder, broken femur, broken pelvis and I don’t remember what all. It’s probably easier to say what he didn’t break. A year later he was able to get on the same mule and ride her all the way down. He became emotional while telling the story, especially the part about riding the same animal.
He showed us a natural formation of three steps which he said tourists will start to walk on and think it’s something it’s not and fall off the edge. An average of about 12 people fall or jump into the canyon to their death every year. For some reason, it was quite a bit more this year. He said that if someone goes alone to hike or whatever and nobody knows where they planned to go, they might not ever find them. Only about 8% of the canyon has been able to be explored.
At one point he was talking about Juniper trees and their multitude of uses including gin, flavorings, ointments, and smoking.
There is really no describing the awe-inspiring wonder of it and pictures just don’t do it justice. There are very few places that have guard rails of any kind, you get as close as you’re comfortable with. The hole in the side of the canyon in the next set was an illegal copper mine around the turn of the century. The water is the Colorado River.
We saw the train and the mule barns and have decided that if the Lord wills and we get to go back, those are a couple of things we want to do.
Our two-hour tour wound up being two-and-a-half or three hours and we felt satisfied as we went back to the motel.
Up next, heading for home.