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OMO in the Grand Canyon - Pre Hike

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    • OMO in the Grand Canyon - Pre Hike

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      Here is the first installment of my GC Trip Report. Be sure to click the thumbnail pics to see the full image.


      On arrival I drove from Flagstaff to the Cameron Trading Post in the Navajo Nation. Bought some gifts to placate Mrs OMO and had a ginormous dinner of Navajo Tacos.
      Then I stopped at one of the roadside tables to buy another gift. The old man at the table told me all about the origin and foklore of the crafts they were selling.


      Desert View is the first view of the Canyon. Late in the day the best views are to the East with the sun behind you. I love the early 20th century classic park buildings.
      I stopped at several overlooks along the road, but the best was Zuni Point, only accessible by a 1/2 mile cross-country walk. Here you have the sunset all to yourself.


      I had one full free day to explore the South Rim and get ready for the hike. I hiked some of the Rim Trail along the Hermit Road. The overlooks are amazing.
      I could see much of where I was going to be hiking down below. The first is above Horn and Salt Creeks. The second above Hermit Creek where the hike will end.


      I then went back to the village. I was staying at Bright Angel Lodge, one of the classic old lodges of the NP. It's the most affordable room on the rim, but very nice.
      Behind the lodge is Lookout Studio, built right on the rim. Many of these buildings are attributed to Mary Colter, designer for the Fred Harvey Company in the early 20th Century.


      Up the hill are the Thunderbird and Maswik Lodges, from 1972. Part of the Mission 66 program and with none of the charm of the pre-WWII classics.
      The most deluxe and oldest of the lodges is the El Tovar. I had a sumptuous lunch of wedge salad, burger, and prickly pear margarita.


      I walked the Rim Trail all the way to Mather Point (maybe 8 miles in walking total today). There were overlooks everywhere for a shot of OMO on the rocks.
      Mather Point is the most famous and crowded overlook, but it was fun to mingle with the tourists. They were dumbfounded to learn I was hiking to the bottom tomorrow.


      Lots of people complain about the crowds, but it isn't had to find an overlook all to yourself.
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      Very nice report OMO. I loved the photos. One thing I noticed were those colorful Navajo pots. Last time I was on the reservation most of the ceramics for sale were 'Pine Pitch' pots. Nice, but not colorful. I bought a two-spouted 'Wedding Vessel' for my soon to be bride when I was last there 30 years ago. What they sell now seems to have evolved to match the demands of the tourist trade.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
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      Oh yes, the Navajo tacos.

      There use to be a weekly market in 'Tuba City' with a Navajo guy grilling free range mutton off the back of his pickup truck for his Navajo Tacos. Delicious! I could eat those all day.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
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      IMScotty wrote:

      Very nice report OMO. I loved the photos. One thing I noticed were those colorful Navajo pots. Last time I was on the reservation most of the ceramics for sale were 'Pine Pitch' pots. Nice, but not colorful. I bought a two-spouted 'Wedding Vessel' for my soon to be bride when I was last there 30 years ago. What they sell now seems to have evolved to match the demands of the tourist trade.
      On the table with colorful pots, some have a matte finish on others are more glossy. I got one of the glossy ones. These are horse hair etched pots. Up close you can see they have random black swirls in the pot (the horse hair). They also had some pots that were mostly black and white with bold geometric patterns (Zuni, I think). I almost got one of those. Hard to decide. I recall there were some very plain pots that cost a lot more than the others. I suppose those are for the connoisseurs.
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      jimmyjam wrote:

      Great pictures. Makes me really really miss the canyon. I love Navajo tacos! Mary Colter was a fantastic architect.
      I was reading an article about a recent publication by a historian whose research suggests that May Colter was not the architect everyone thinks she was. His claim is that other architects were responsible for the building design and that she was employed to do interior design. I am not going to pass judgement either way at this point.

      architecturalobserver.com/gran…olter-exposed-as-a-fraud/