Day 5 – 6 Jacob’s Lake, Arizona   Leave a comment

It was difficult to leave St. George and our wonderful camp host & guide. Boy did they spoil us.

About 20 miles outside of St. George, as we climbed an incline, we saw Noah’s Ark Rock Formation.

Driving through Colorado City, Arizona, we saw BIG homes along the way where polygamy is practiced.

Pipe Springs National Monument was an en route stop. Anson and Emmeline Winsor ran Pipe Spring for the first six years (it was established in 1870) and they called it Windsor Castle. This ranch was part of Brigham Young’s vision for the growing Mormon population. Mormons often tithed to the church in the form of cattle and the growing tithing herds needed more space. He also needed a source of beef and dairy products to feed hundreds of laborers working on the Mormon temple and other public projects in St. George.

Pipe Springs was the perfect place because of the presence of water. Pictured below is the spring coming into the cellar.

In 1879 the ranch was running more than 2,200 head of cattle, worth $54,000.

Even before the fort was completed, a relay station for the Deseret Telegraph system was installed, connecting this remote outpost on the Arizona Strip to other Mormon settlements and Salt Lake City, Utah. It was operated by a 17 year old female.

In the 1880s and 1890s the remote fort became a refuge for wives hiding from federal marshals enforcing anti-polygamy laws, which was an early Mormon doctrine. (we saw the homes of current polygamists as we drove through Colorado City). From 1881 to 1923 Mormon couples from Arizona stopped at Pipe Spring on their way to be married in the St. George Temple, which is why the road running by the fort was called the Honeymoon Trail. Faced with the confiscation of church property and the declining range, the Mormon Church sold Pipe Spring ranch in 1895.

We ended our day with a campfire stew and dessert s’mores and mountain pies. Nothing like cooking over an open pit fire.

Evie and Dave coordinated the campfire gathering, showing everyone how to make mountain pies.

Phil had a different idea of what a s’more should be.

Grand Canyon, North Rim was a ride share day. It was much easier for everyone to go on their own so that they could spend as much time as they wanted in the different areas. It was great to find someone from our group at all of the different overlooks.

On the way to the North Rim, we came across an area that was devastated by fire.

We later learned that this fire started as a control burn in 2006. The plan was to burn a few thousand acres, when the winds changed, causing the fire to get out of control a and burn 20,000 acres!

The North Rim Grand Canyon view is spectacular. It is a MUST SEE because you just can’t imagine the true beauty, and to think the little ole Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon and the Kaibab Plateau.….

The morning was a bit cloudy which made for interesting photographs.

Looking east from Roosevelt Point, the opposite side of the Grand Canyon lies far below. This entire region, 75 million years ago, was a smooth plain. About 5 million years later, it began to change. North America drifted westward, squeezing the western landscape, and the land began to rise. The Rocky Mountains folded and buckled upward. Here, on the Colorado Plateau, the uplift was smoother. Where we stood, the Kaibab Plateau pushed about 2,400 feet higher than the Marble Platform to the east, creating a big step down. We were more than 8,400 feet above sea level.

Looking across, you can spot the fault line separating the Kaibab Plateau from the Marble platform. The rock layers were bent upward showing where the big step rose vertically over the Butte Fault.

Major John Wesley Powell stated in 1869 that the Colorado River was “too thick to drink and too thin to plow.” Hmmmmm I believe I heard that while on the Lewis and Clark trip, but they said that about the Missouri River. I’ll have to look that up to find if our guide told us wrong about the Missouri River, or if Major Powell said that about several rivers. There are a few different theories on who the Colorado River cut through the Kaibab Plateau. Maybe they’ll figure it out in our lifetime—something to look forward to.

Next onto Cape Royal

And Angel’s Window (my favorite) which is the most dramatic view of the Colorado River.

Bill and I are pictured below, standing on top of Angel’s Window.

During the uplift of the Kaibab Plateau, stress and strain caused the rock to fracture forming vertical joints that intersect horizontal bedding planes. Weathering along these planes and joints has eroded a hole in the Kaibab limestone and enlarged it to form a window.

The top of the opposite side of the rim is the Desert View, which is about 8.5 miles away.
The top of the cliff to the left of the photo is Vishnu Temple, which is 2 miles away.

The Walhalla Plateau was the home to Anasazi Indians 900 years ago. They are believed to be the ancestors of the Hopi Indians who live east of the Grand Canyon. During the winter months, they would be forced to live down in the canyon, while the summer months some of the people lived at the rim, an arduous 2 day walk. Archeologists have identified more than 300 prehistoric sites on this plateau, most of them close to the rim. The largest site contained a complex with 25 rooms. About 1150 A.D. these people left the Canyon, possibly because of a decline in rainfall.

 

While at one of the overlooks, we saw a sign that said the rim is a favorite striking point for lightening, so if you have a lot of static electricity in your body, you might want to take cover during a storm! We were actually out at one of the points when lightening was striking across the way. The ranger warned us that the lightening can travel the 10 miles over to us in a split second. Didn’t take us long to GET OUT OF THERE!

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