Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grand Canyon rim-to-rim backpacking trip ~ Day 2, Phantom Ranch, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Phantom Ranch (named so by the Fred Harvey company in the 1920’s when developed as a tourist attraction – prior to that it was called Silver Creek, Bright Angel, Rust’s Camp, and Roosevelt Camp) is a fairly large area of cabins, ranger station, canteen, hiker dormitories and mule corral. It’s probably about ½ mile in length, and runs along Bright Angel Creek.

One of the most popular spots is the canteen, where we chilled for a couple hours enjoying the (barely there) air conditioning and chatting with all sorts of people. They sells lots of things – such as postcards that are carried up by mule, t-shirts, ball caps, and patches that you can only buy at Phantom Ranch, miscellaneous items like band-aids, moleskin, etc…, beer ($4.50 a can for Budweiser), lemonade, wine, and most importantly – FROZEN SNICKERS!!! It was the most expensive ($2.50) and best snickers Suzanne has ever had. Brad was offered a bite, but smartly declined! :-)

The canteen also offers breakfast and dinner daily, as well as sack lunches to take on the trail. Our friends from Massachusetts enjoyed all of the above, but we decided way long ago not to partake – the dinner is a choice of steak or a meat-based stew, neither of which appeal to Suzanne, and we also thought that eating such a large meal at night in such hot temperatures wouldn’t be appealing, and we were right – we were fine with our dehydrated backpacking food. Also, if you want breakfast, it is served at 5:30am, and we wanted to be on the trail before that, so it wouldn’t have worked for us either.

One neat thing about hanging in the canteen and roaming the Phantom Ranch area was that we kept running into the same rim-to-rim hikers – it was really cool how we were all enjoying the same experience and sharing the same thoughts & ideas.

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