Day 13: Kaibab Plateau South (Passage 40)

I’m on the trail early. As I noted in an earlier entry, one of the perils of combining being a seasonal ranger and thruhiking in the offseason (or shoulder seasons) is that one must make oneself available for interviews in sometimes inconvenient times or places. I owe a park a return call at some point today. Based on the tip I received from a nobo hiker yesterday, I hope to have service at the East Rim Overlook about 2 miles south of my campsite last night. When I get to the overlook – a beautiful spot with a bench and picnic table overlooking a portion of the eastern canyon, with additional trails leading out to further views – I find I do indeed have service. I spread my solar panel out and hook up my batteries to charge given the open sky view here and charging opportunity, and make the call.

After doing my interview and taking care of some other business, I’m headed south again. Continuing south, the trail passes through more aspen groves, rice meadows, and mixed conifer forest, the latter increasingly spruce-fir as the rolling Kaibab slowly rises in elevation. Each displays the forest in a different stage – the rice meadows, areas most recently disturbed by something, be it a fire, severe wind, etc; the aspens, one of the pioneer trees to move in thereafter; and the spruce-fir/mixed conifer forest, the least recently disturbed.

It’s been a rough last few days with the wind and overnight temps, so upon reaching Crystal Spring I take a detour to Meadows Edge and the North Rim Country Store through some USFS roads and more aspen groves that continue to shine, meeting Roger and another thruhiking friend and discuss strategy and escape from the wind for a period. I then return to the trail and put some more miles in. Another 18 or so mile day in total, although not as many of those were on the actual trail as I might like (a fair number were getting to and from the North Rim Country Store). Still, I’m fairly close to the border between the Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park.

Regardless, I should be at the North Rim tomorrow (about 15 miles away), Phantom on Thursday, SR on Friday, and on the trail to Flagstaff perhaps on Tuesday.

Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) beside rice grass meadows on the Arizon\a Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
The Arizona Trail exits a rice grass meadow and reenters stands of aspens in fall colors among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors stand among mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Arizona Trail distance marker at East Rim Overlook, Kaibab National Forest, Arizona. 59 miles to Utah, 743 to Mexico.
East Rim Overlook view. The view looks over House Rock Valley, Marble Canyon (the youngest portion of Grand Canyon), and the Navajo Reservation. Navajo Mountain, in Utah, looms in the distance.
East Rim Overlook view. The view looks over House Rock Valley, Marble Canyon (the youngest portion of Grand Canyon), and the Navajo Reservation. Navajo Mountain, in Utah, looms in the distance.
Aspens and mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (spruce, fir, ponderosa pine) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (primarily spruce/fir here) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers (primarily spruce/fir here) on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens beside rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens amid mixed conifers and rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens amid mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens amid mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens and mixed conifers in rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens amid rice grass meadows on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens amid rice grass and mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens in fall colors amid rice grass and mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers on the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona
Lichen – a symbiotic, or mutually beneficial, relationship between algae and fungus – is a great indicator of air quality. Here on the Kaibab, it practically sprouts from trees and branches as its own plant, the air is so clear. Kaibab National Forest, Arizona.
Aspens among rice grass and mixed conifers on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest, Arizona

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