After our hike yesterday Derek and I got cleaned up and went back to the village for dinner. We had already decided while on our hike that we would attempt to dine at The Arizona Room which is the moderately priced dinning option nestled on the Rim at The Bright Angle Lodge.
Pricing and food find themselves somewhere between the most informal dining and entree options offered at the Bright Angel Restaurant and the upscale reservations only El Tovar. Earlier Derek and I had considered sharing the Dinner Sampler, although Derek had heard the Buffalo Burger calling his name as well. Given that by the time we arrived we felt as though we could each eat an entire buffalo we decided to get both, he ordering the burger and the sampler for me/ us to share. We also each ordered a 10oz Grand Canyon Pilsner, one of their local draft beers which is brewed by the Grand Canyon Brewing Company out of Williams, Nv (dad). Anyway, our food was brought promptly and everything was great. My dinner came with the choice of soup or salad and the Grand Canyon Caesar had fresh corn, black beans, tortilla slivers and a smoked Caesar dressing.
It was really quite good.
Derek felt his burger, served with a Gorgonzola aioli and sweet potato fries was unique and tasty and the filet, chicken, 1/4 rack of baby backs, well baked bake potato and greenie beanies that came on my plate was all nicely cooked and sauced. The air was only getting colder and with a possible 10-16 inches of snow projected between the next two days it was back the trailer for us.
This morning we woke to a dusting of snow on the trailer but very little on the ground. It was coming down but it didn't seem as cold as when we went to bed the night before since the wind had died down and the snow was only drifting softly.
Derek and I had already discussed the possibility of leaving at some point today as we were not sure how scenic the canyon was going to be with the snow or how much we wanted to be hiking in it. When we checked in yesterday the ranger warned us of the spring storm and let us know they would issue refunds if anyone chose to leave as it was totally unexpected. Also given the impending governmental shutdown, he stated that after the park closed tonight there may be no further workers this weekend until….time to be
determined. So after a drive by the rim which revealed a very foggy difficult to make out canyon, we stopped by the Visitors Center , Park Headquarters and the General store and toured around on the bus another time listening to information about the park. As the wind started to get harder and the snow fell in larger and larger clumps we decided to head out, destination Albuquerque, Nm.
We weren’t willing to take the chance of getting caught in the 16ins of snow which was now projected for today and tonight. I told Derek the African in me just doesn’t do well in extreme cold without severe planning.
The trip back down the mountain was an interesting one, periods of hard snow and areas that looked like they had just experienced a blizzard followed shortly by the same pine and country landscaped that looked just as untouched by winter as they had the day before. The snow halted by the time we got just north of Flagstaff and as we headed east again temperatures began to rise. We were warned that Albuquerque is on the same mountain range as the Grand Canyon and may be experiencing similar conditions however while it was high 30s in Flagstaff it was low 70s in Albuquerque. Of course this snow became something that couldn’t or at least wasn’t predicted until it was right on top of the area so some more fickle weather could be in our future. We had a hotel booked for Saturday night already and added tonight to that reservation so if the storm comes we’ll be able to watch if from the comfort of our king bed and we won’t have to be worried about walking to the bathroom in the morning and sinking into a foot and a half of snow.