Since we chose a 2 night stay at Bright Angel Campground it gave us a chance to take it a bit easier and take in the scenery on the second day of our trip.
A short walk away from Bright Angel Campground is Phantom ranch. Hikers, Mule riders and Rafters can book accommodations here in either cabins or dormitory spaces. Also available are breakfast and dinner served at 2 seating times. We were able to book a breakfast for the second seating at 6:30 am. We also ordered a sack lunch which we picked up at that time. You must plan ahead and book in advance. After we found out we had our camping permit, I called and booked our breakfast. I was unable to get a steak or stew dinner reservation, as they were already booked up. More information regarding phantom ranch can be found here: http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/lodging/phantom-ranch/
While waiting for the canteen to open for breakfast we chatted with a few runners who had shown up already having run down from the south rim! One older man was planning to run south rim to north rim and back to south rim all in one day. We saw him later that after noon having completed all but his last stretch back up the south rim. Over 40 miles he would run that day !
I was very glad we booked breakfast, it gave us a chance to talk with a few other hikers and we quite enjoyed hearing about their trip and where they were from. Everyone is excited to be there and you really feel that energy as well as some discussions about a few aches and pains from the hike.
The rest of the day we spent doing some short hiking a short distance on the North Kaibab Trail, eating our bag lunch and taking photos of the amazing scenery. We then hiked back past Bright Angel Campground and to the Boat Beach at the Colorado river where we looked around and relaxed enjoying the sunshine. The temperature was around 20 degrees Celsius (67 F) that day but feeling hotter in the sun.
After we had finished our hiking for the day we returned to phantom ranch which is open to the public 8 am to 4 pm, and 8 pm to 10 pm. They sell beverages, snacks, and some other items. You can mail a postcard from there and it goes up by Mule! My purchase that afternoon was a beer and a hat. Again we chatted with a group that had just arrived and enjoyed the conversation. We made dinner at our campsite that evening and returned at 8 pm for a tea and more conversation. One man we spoke with had been in the Canyon on many camping trips in different areas and we found his knowledge of the various trails interesting.
And so ended another day. We would be packing up the next day and starting our hike up…
Stay tuned for part 3….