Day 3. Wednesday. Hump Day. Free Skate.
Wednesday I didn’t have anything planned but did think we would end up having a longer visit to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. However, we also wanted to visit the Impact Crater near Winslow Arizona at some point too. And since we were still not adjusted to the time difference and waking up early, we decided to do both.
The Impact Crater is the largest crater in North America. The fact that it’s a desert with very little variation in weather, it’s very well preserved. Only a small amount of sand debris is swept into the crater by wind each year so it looks just about the same as it did when people began studying it in the late 1800’s.
They actually thought it was a volcano vent for the longest time until Science stepped in and proved otherwise. Now, the site has a visitor center with tours running on the hour 8am-5pm every day. Because charging money to see something like that is the American way.
The winds at the rim are fierce and as our guide told us, the current visitor center is the 3rd building to be constructed on site for tourism. The first two were literally blown away in wind storms. Yikes!!
Aside from fighting the wind, it was a really cool thing to see and hear about and I’m glad we took a half a day to do that.
Returning to Flagstaff, it was lunchtime and we made our second visit to El Tapatio, as the food and margaritas there were some of the best we’ve had anywhere.
Once we were full of fajitas, enchiladas, and silliness… we hit the road again for the South Rim.
This time we had a little more time to walk the paved trail that runs several miles along the south rim. We also picked a different spot to see the sunset which could only be accessed by shuttle bus.
With a half hour to spare, we made our way to Hopi Point and found a nice quiet pair of rocks to sit on and wait. I suppose the fact that it’s still pretty early in the season, the crowds were at a minimum, which I very much appreciate.
The sunset itself was hazy and you couldn’t really get a good shot of the canyon, but I know what I saw and it was pretty incredible.
We didn’t stay long after that.
Noteworthy here is that sometime during the Crater Tour, our guide mentioned that before Americans settled in the area, native people migrated through at different times of the year hunting and gathering. One of the main food sources was the pine nut from the Pinion tree which is high in protein and micronutrients.
So,,, walking the south rim trail, I decided to pick a few pinion cones and pluck the nuts out and eat them.
Fast forward to just after sunset, and I began having horrible cramps. This was followed by an extended visit to the restroom at Hopi point. And I continued to have cramps the entire ride home and into the night. Shame on me for doing something so dumb.
Dumber still is that I didn’t even connect the dots until the next day. I had been wrecking my brain trying to think of what I had eaten that Jim had not. We both had a little of each other’s meals at both lunch and dinner. Oh well… guess I learned my lesson on that one. 🙄
And that’s how my Wednesday ended… with a whimper AND a bang.
So much for free skating,