Hermit’s Head

It’s the middle of December when I find myself traveling up to Tusayan, a little town just before the entrance to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Although my fractured elbow is not healing as quickly as I would like, my goal was to still try and snowshoe some of the trails around the park, and perhaps try a science experiment along the Rim.

The snow that Northern Arizona has been getting pounded with lately though has yet to reach this part of the park. The lack of snow doesn’t get me down though, as the park is relatively empty this time of year, which allows me to fully immerse myself in the splendor of this place without the throngs of tourists.

I head West along the main road to the Hermits Head area of the park, a new section for me. I see trails that I’d love to come back and try, as my health and a lack of proper equipment prevent me from hiking this time.

Instead I hike along the rim trail out here. It’s only me and a herd of elk. I follow them along the trail for a spell, then we mix things up and they follow me. Such curious creatures they are.

I find benches at viewpoints where I can just sit and read, or even take a nap for a spell. I soak in the winter sun as the afternoon slowly passes me by. I time lapse the shadows as they move across the mighty canyon.

I try to conduct my experiment of blowing bubbles from dish soap into the air, hoping it is cold enough for them to freeze so that I can add food coloring to see what will happen. It’s a fun enough experiment, yet the temperature is just warm enough to prevent the bubbles from freezing. I find myself giddy as a kid and just let the bubbles fly into the canyon in slow motion.

The next morning I rise early to get back to the park before sunrise. It’s a mere twenty degrees outside. The clouds are trapped in the canyon, and as the sun rises and warms the earth, slowly the clouds swirl and rise into the air. It’s an amazing scene to witness.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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