May 26, 2010
I hiked the Nankoweap Trail for the first time in May of 2010.
The trip was my friend Donnie’s idea, and he invited our friend Timmy as well. We all worked at the El Tovar together, and managed to get 5 days off to make it happen.
I have hundreds of photos from the hike, so I divided it into 6 separate posts.
This 3rd day was a full rest day at our beach camp along the River. Some might call it a layover day, others in the long distance backpacking community would call it a “zero day.”
In hindsight this was probably the best day of the trip, since we were free to explore without heavy packs and spend the hours doing whatever we desired. This was just 2 years since I’d seen the Canyon for the first time, so the concept of base camp and layover days below the rim hadn’t fully dawned on me yet.
I came from the point-to-point, long distance school of backpacking, and hiked the Canyon to see as much as possible and often cover as much ground as possible. With that mindset, before the trip I thought we might explore downstream along the shore of the River to Kwagunt Creek, but I ended up being fully content to simply be lazy most of the day and enjoy the surroundings.
We ultimately did end up gearing up to take a walk downstream, but opted not to go very far – probably because of the heat.
I even took an impromptu nap through the hottest part of the day, while Donnie and Timmy went out and did some exploring. Donnie was sure to grab a picture as I was fast asleep in the middle of the day, haha.
I didn’t hike up to the requisite Nankoweap Granaries until sunset, when the 3 of us all went up together.
After my day of repose, the hike up to the site was more steep and strenuous than I expected. I guess I expected the site to be closer to the River, but the trail made a quick ascent of a few hundred feet.
This evening of May 26th featured a full moon, so I was in the right place at the right time to get a shot of the moon’s first light rising over the rim of the Canyon.
Looking back at the images, it’s clear that my technical photography skills weren’t quite up to snuff in catching clear, low-light photos, but I think I did a decent job for the tools I had on hand here in 2011 (Nikon D40 camera, kit lens, no tripod).
I at least captured the essence of being here in this special place and time.