Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hermits and other Creatures

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 – Fred, Joann and I caught the Grand Canyon Shuttle all the way out to Hermit’s Rest, the farthest west side of the National Park that the shuttle runs.


Hermit’s Rest is named for Louis Boucher, aka ‘the Hermit’, who maintained a tent camp and corrals below Hermit’s Point (around Dripping Springs) from the 1890’s to about 1912.


The Visitor’s center at Hermit’s Rest was another of Mary Colter’s designs. I really love the stone work and large timbers. This building looks as if it were built hundreds of years ago, and ‘fits’ into it’s setting, as to almost disappear.


Though the building was designed as a visitor’s center, not a home,  one could just picture sitting by the large fireplace in the winter and looking out the windows at the snow.


We stopped along the shuttle ride at most of the overlooks……The Canyon is just too immense to comprehend….much less, photograph properly….but, it begs one to keep trying.


When you glimpse into the inner gorge…….there is a feeling of foreboding……And a respect for the enormity of the Canyon and the powerful force of the Colorado River.


Along our stops, we met several ‘residents’ of the Grand Canyon. This is a Grey-Breasted Jay (also called a Mexican Jay). This beautiful bird only lives in parts south-central Arizona, southern New Mexico and the Chisos Mountains in Texas.

We also saw what the ranger referred to as ‘the most dangerous animal in the Canyon…….


This Abert’s squirrel…..they are plentiful, and have been, unfortunately, fed by tourists and have lost their fear of people. This little squirrel sends more people to the medical clinic with bites than any other injury in the Canyon.


And, of course, there are the Ravens……everywhere! This bird is featured in many of the Native American legends, and is thought to be the smartest bird around. It IS pretty smart….the Ravens can get into trash, or hiker’s lunches, or anything left out at your campsite! Beware…..

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