The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

2011: Phantom Ranch

Our stay at Phantom Ranch was the best part of the trip. Our overall approach to Phantom Ranch was unusual, at least compared to others we’ve met down there. What did we do? We turned it into a destination in and of itself, instead of a place to land during a multi-day hike. We were there for 4 nights and 3 full days. People who just use it as a rest stop ask us what on earth there is to do at Phantom Ranch. The answer is, plenty!

Although the hike down was hellish, the moment I walked into the women’s dorm at Phantom Ranch, things began to turn around, literally. The only bed left was an upper bunk, but someone saw me and said “oh, you need a lower bunk,” and gave me hers! (The lower bunks are usually more desirable.) This 10-bunk dorm was the best ever, populated by friendly women and girls who looked out for each other, shared anecdotes, and respected privacy.

They even had a sense of humor about the buckets. Due to plumbing things I don’t understand, and heavy run-off from winter snow melt, the powers that be at Phantom Ranch decided it was best to turn off the toilets. Instead of flushing, we dragged into the dorm big buckets of water that we filled with a hose outside, poured water from the buckets into the toilets, and … learned that if your toilet ever breaks, you can force stuff down it by pouring a big bucket of water into it. Who knew? Newcomers to the dorm were initially dismayed but eventually laughed about it, as that was the only sane reaction.

Aside from bucket wrangling, we hiked a bit, went to the twice-daily ranger talks, watched wildlife (bighorn sheep, ringtail cats, deer, etc.), chatted up our fellow Ranchers, wrote postcards, read, napped, and ate, all in one of the most beautiful spots in the country, made that much sweeter by the difficulty most people face in reaching it. Here are some pictures:

 

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July 10, 2011 - Posted by | Arizona, Grand Canyon, national parks, photography, travel, Uncategorized, wildlife | , , , ,

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