There were Yak-Traks (ice cleats to slip on over your boots) available for sale, but I'm one of those people who tends to trip over nothing anyway. I've always figured that for me ice cleats would be more of a tripping hazard than they would be a safety device.
And while I'm on the subject of crowds and parking headaches, as we were heading back to the Village from Hermit's Rest, I noticed shuttle buses labeled "Sunset Tour" pulling into the parking area for Hopi Point, which is reputedly one of the best overlooks in the park to view the sunset from. The parking lot was full already with private cars and multiple buses were going to disgorge more gawkers to watch the sun set. Holy wah. That must be a real special experience, watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon while being pinned in what amounts to a mosh pit of humanity all trying to get positioned to take the absolutely perfect photograph of the experience. Just thinking about it may have contributed to my purchase of alcohol to occupy the evening meal.
|Location of head frame for Orphan Mine is just barely noticeable.|
|Interpretive trail at Tusuyan Pueblo Museum|
|Pueblo ruins at Tusuyan Museum|
Then keep in mind that one of the problems at the park can be too many people and not enough dining out options. Yavapai has a bizarre system in place apparently designed to remove some humans from the equation -- you place your order and pay for it on a computer screen and then get to stand and wait to pick it up just like you would at any cheap fast food place, except it's not cheap. I don't know about the average diner, but if I'm going to pay inflated prices for prime rib, I'd kind of like an actual human to come to the table and take the order instead of dining in what's basically a cafeteria. We ate at Yavapai one time (had an extremely mediocre pizza that was cold by the time we got it), in the restaurant at Bright Angel Lodge once, the food court at Maswik once, and the deli in the supermarket in the Market Plaza once. Bright Angel had good service and the food wasn't bad (although they did make my Monte Cristo sandwich the wrong way)(on the positive side, they didn't dust it with powdered sugar, which is one of the stranger things I've seen done to that particular sandwich over the years), the deli was good, and the food court was better than average for a food court. Prices overall were on the high side, but that's exactly what you expect in a place that's crawling with tourists. Except for the deli, there were long lines and a lot of waiting time every place that served food. In short, pack a cooler so you're prepared if the lines are longer than you feel like dealing with or you're on a schedule where you absolutely have to eat at specific times (e.g., you're an insulin-dependent diabetic). If I had to do it over again, we'd have picked a different week and we would have had more of our own food with us.
Next up in the road trip reports? Wupatki National Monument.