Sunday ,  March 25 ,  2001 

 

We ate a pocket breakfast and departed our campsite by a little after 7 am. We were pleased to see that the Beavertail Cactus had opened a dozen or more of it’s magenta-petaled flowers. On a flat rock just past Demaray Point someone had laid out many Indian artifact for viewing.  Any artifacts that are discovered  in the canyon should be left where they are found.   As the group neared Phantom Ranch Anna Marie wrinkled her nose and mused, "I think I smell the mules!" Pat and Terri later disclosed that they both secretly worried it might be them. As we cruised into our "Phantom Ranch oasis" by 11:30 am., Laura greeted Pat with the great news that we indeed had secured cabin #6 for our last night in the canyon. Delightful hot showers were enjoyed by all and the research began through flower books, hiking manuals, and maps provided at the canteen. All three contributed more data for our journal notes. Pat tried to describe the location of our Tonto campsite to Scott and a worker from Texas, he and others were happy to hear Terri’s tale of the trip to Chevaya Falls. As Pat surfed her camera for just the right snap of the elusive campsite photo to show Scott, she mused " I sure wish I knew where I slept last night…", That raised several eyebrows and elicited more than a few hearty laughs in the canteen. Later on, the gaming began. Terri taught us how to play Liverpool rummy, which captured our attention until we were kicked out for 5:00 P.M. dinner preparations. We joined Ranger Pam’s presentation on desert botanicals and discovered many interesting facts about the plants we observed on our journey. 

The abundant Prickly Pear Cactus has a houseguest – the female Cochineal Bug.  This small red bug was a natural source of red dye and was used by the English to dye their “Redcoats” and was the ingredient used to color the red strips in the first American Flags.
 
The Century Plants or  Agaves, can grow up to seven inches per day.  Its fibers were used by Native Americans to make paintbrushes and brooms.

The most important part of the Banana Yucca is the fiber found deep inside its blades.  It was used to weave baskets, mats, and sandals.
 

Mormon Tea is a medicinal plant used to manufacture Afedra.  This is the main ingredient in Sudafed for nasal congestion. 

Although many species of trees are apparent on the North Rim on the Grand Canyon, the South Rim has only three main species:  Ponderosa Pine whose needles smell like vanilla, Pinion Pine which is used to make pesto from Pinion Pine nuts, and Utah Juniper whose berries are ground into flour and also used to make gin.  In addition, Navajo women used the pounded, softened fibers from the bark of the Utah Juniper as an absorbent, washable, and reusable material for diapers.

The quality of dinner cuisine stunned us considering our location; fresh salad with palm hearts and asparagus, warm corn bread, two different veggies, baked potatoes, and a generous juicy steak graced the family style meal. Pat initiated an evening stroll but promptly aborted the trip due to her painful blister. This is our only concern as we plan our ascent up the Bright Angel trail tomorrow. We donated our unneeded water bottles and rope at the ranger station, then returned to the canteen for a vicious game of Scrabble. Pat’s repeated attempts to convince Terri and Anna Marie to accept "ai" as a word failed miserably since the closest dictionary was 10 miles uphill, Pat’s opponents rejected her explanation that "ai" was a three toed African tree sloth. The uproar that followed amused the many friendly hikers who gathered there nightly for camaraderie. Asleep by 10:30, we all dreamed sweet dreams about our adventures so far.

GC140.JPG (379871 bytes) GC141.JPG (407364 bytes) GC142.JPG (395765 bytes) artifacts.jpg (357629 bytes)  GC143.JPG (385821 bytes) GC144.JPG (402109 bytes) GC145.JPG (377161 bytes) GC146.JPG (397508 bytes)

             GC148.JPG (53616 bytes) brittlebush.jpg (84502 bytes) GC149.JPG (54355 bytes) brittlebush_patjpg.jpg (60599 bytes) GC150.JPG (76707 bytes)  

GC156.JPG (66628 bytes) GC157.JPG (63922 bytes)

GC152.JPG (391670 bytes) GC153.JPG (407270 bytes) GC154.JPG (412204 bytes) 

   GC161.JPG (423366 bytes) GC162.JPG (200388 bytes) GC163.JPG (399664 bytes) GC164.JPG (374616 bytes) GC167.JPG (425345 bytes) GC165.JPG (931005 bytes)  GC168.JPG (340010 bytes) GC169.JPG (386166 bytes)

GC171.JPG (171988 bytes) GC172.JPG (405456 bytes) GC173.JPG (1032884 bytes)

 


Continue

Sunday
Mar 3/18
Monday
Mar 3/19
Tuesday
Mar 3/20
Wednesday
Mar 3/21
Thursday
Mar 3/22
Friday
Mar 3/23
Saturday
Mar 3/24
Sunday
Mar 3/25
Monday
Mar 3/26
Tuesday
Mar 3/27