Last year when I visited Chaco Canyon, I wrote my Ode to a Campsite.
Well, for the visit to Cottonwood Campground, halfway up the north side of the Grand Canyon along Bright Angel Creek, I think I’ll say “Oh!” to a campsite.
First, just because I had to wear my moccasins on the hike up to Cottonwood Campground didn’t mean I had to keep wearing them.
Our campsite came with a great view.
But better yet, we got there so early that we got one of the few (maybe 3 or 4) campsites with decent shade.
That’s not so bad for the others, because a lot of the hikers get there much later in the day, when the campground is completely shaded by the walls of the Canyon, which happens around 5:10pm.
It was a fairly busy place—as a throughway. The North Kaibab Trail runs from the lodges on the North Rim down to Phantom Ranch on the bottom. Additionally, they’d only just opened the North Rim on May 15th. The cold weather precludes an opening before that.
I was particularly fascinated by the Prickly Pears putting forth new growth.
That new growth (new paddles?) is easily distinguishable by its fresh color.
While I was going barefoot, there was a new hazard that took away just slightly from the campsite. We were under one of the desert oaks, and they have little spiky leaves that look like holly leaves.
Now, those weren’t a problem on my soles—no way would they penetrate to the quick. But they did stick. (No quick; stick.) And then I’d track them into the tent where they could get touched by more sensitive skin. I’d also occasionally feel them on my feet if they got caught under a toe.
It was still a great campsite. How many campsites have this view when lying inside your tent?
And moonset was pretty spectacular.
That’s a waxing crescent, following just a bit behind the sun.
So, after a night at the campground, we were heading back to Bright Angel Campground for another night there.