Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Return to Hermit’s Rest

©Bert Gildart:  Yesterday Janie and I bicycled to what has become my most favorite part of Grand Canyon: Hermit’s Rest.  Because Janie had not biked much recently we decided to try out the shuttle system, which we found surprisingly easy to use and the bus drivers more than helpful.

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Janie at "entrance" to Hermit's Rest

Because it was our first time loading bikes onto the bus, the driver showed us which levers to pull – and push – and within a matter of minutes we had our two bikes loaded onto the rack, which is outside and located on the very front of the bus.  About ten minutes later we unloaded our bikes near Hopi Point.  In that way we eliminated the most uphill portion of the Hermit’s Road Drive, which is open only to shuttle buses and to bikes.


Essentially, we were riding in a Pinyon/Juniper forest to the South all flanked to the north by the depths of the Grand Canyon.  As we rode we could see that the pinyon pine nuts were ripe, and we had learned from our week now of exploring this park that many Native families were gathering nuts, perfectly legal for all ethnic groups.  Several days early Janie had visited with an elderly Native lady who said this was the very best crop they’ve had in several years. “Next year,” she said, “there probably won’t be many nuts.”

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L to R: (Click to enjoy as larger images)  Tarantula along Hermit’s Rest, pinyon pine showing seeds inside cone and ready to burst free.


Nuts are best gathered on the ground as when in the cones on the trees they are exceedingly sticky.  Natives gather them in huge quantities, then bake the nuts and when properly prepared “taste better than peanut butter.”  We noticed the ground, beneath stands of pinyon pine trees, was thick with cones and that the cones extruded seeds.  We continued our ride, reaching Hermit’s Rest about an hour later.

Today, Hermit’s Rest is a small stone building that serves as a place for visitors to rest and stroll along the canyon rim.  It’s also the point at which the road runs out and where buses and bikers must turn around.


Several days ago while biking the area just west of The Rest, I found a tarantula, and in almost the same place Janie and I spotted yet another.  This one seemed larger, and by now I had learned a bit more about handling this huge arachnid – and hopefully (for your viewing pleasure) the making of better tarantula images.  (See previous post for comparison.)

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Colorado River, which has been at work for over a million years.


We completed our ride – almost 18 miles – just as the sun neared the horizon.  It lite the canyon in dramatic ways – even after it had disappeared.  Below us we could see the famous Colorado River that had been at work for well over a million years.  It was a humbling experience and we rode on, returning to our Airstream near dark.  We were tired but invigorated.





*Shenandoah and the Monarch Butterfly







One Response to “Return to Hermit’s Rest”

  1. Adam Says:

    We so wish we were with you! If you are still there you must do a story on the Kolb brothers. When we were there a couple of months ago we were not able to see the whole building – due to staffing. We trust you and your biking buddy will get past those docents and write a great story. Love to you two!