Random photos of the pack mules, shuttle bus and trails at Grand Canyon National Park

I'm a bit late to the kitchen table this morning, but I made it.

Quite a while  ago I found this funny tweet on a google search and it made me chuckle so I had saved it.  This morning it just seemed fitting for the coffee talk because I've been fighting that 'hiking, camping, travel bug' so HARD for the past 2 months.

You see, typically I would be 'returning home' from a 2+ week cross country trip right now.  But because of life... I didn't get to take that trip this year.  I had been deep in the planning stages when COVID-19 brought everything to a screeching halt and unfortunately there is no other dates that work for me this for the remainder of 2020 so I'm.... dejected.  (?)  

And it doesn't help that my phone (and my daughter that has done the last few hiking/camping trips with me) have "MEMORIES" pop up on on our iphones reminding us of what we were doing "1 year ago today" "2 years ago today" and "3 years ago today" which taunt us with things like this:


Even though I know I can't make the 'big' trip I had been planning before the quarantines hit the US, I do still hope to do some smaller hikes and camping, and yesterday I did place an order for some hydration bladders.  A couple weeks ago I ordered (and received) some of the packaged foods (camping meals) for some of those camping/hiking trips as well.  

So... still doing baby-steps that just bring me happiness and make me feel good because it makes me....  hopeful?  I'm not sure that's the word I want to use. It sounds more serious than what I'm feeling.  

Some women like shoes and purses.  Some women like jewelry and clothes.
I like hiking and camping gear!  LOL.

These photos are not funny, gorgeous or captivating.  They are not beautiful shots of the canyons, but are still interesting for those who might never have been to the Grand Canyon and don't know about the pack mules there.

As some of bigger national parks start to open up a little bit after being shut down for the quarantines, I'm seeing a lot photos and updates and posts on social media and lifestyle, travel news so it's front and center in my interest (and memories and longing....)  right now.

I know, this is pretty random and not really on topic, but honestly, do I ever stick to topics on It's Just the Coffee Talking?  No.  Because it's just the coffee talking and it's my blog so I go where my thoughts lead me.

And right now I'm going to share some random photos from then pack mules on one of the trails in the Grand Canyon.

I could be wrong, but I believe was taken on part of  Bright Angel Trail.
The trail is used by people of course, but also, the park uses pack mules to carry the gear up and down for people hiking and camping at the bottom.  (There are also mule trips you can take in which you ride the mules but this little post is about the pack mules.)

So everyone shares the trail.

For safety (of the canyon visitors) they are to take the 'inside' of the trails when the mules pass by.  The Grand Canyon employees and the mules take the outside.

Even though the park was actually pretty busy when we were there, there were still many times when we were able to get photos where we were the only ones on the trails or in the area.  There are some areas that are busier than others.  This is a busy trail (you can tell it's a major trail as it's so flat, maintained and easy to hike!) but in some of our pictures you would think we had the whole place to ourselves.  LOL.


We love the Grand Canyon area and for the most part the employees are great, the visitors are polite and great as well, but you will always have assholes everywhere you go.  Visitors and employees alike.

Every single employee except one were fine.  I'm not saying employees have to be cheerful and positive and kiss your butt!  I just mean they are doing their job, are polite and remember they are human.  We had one bus driver who was a dick.  A DICK.  More than a dick.  A complete asshole, dick-wad jerk.

These are the shuttles the run between stops to help alleviate the number of vehicles traveling into and through the parks.  You park and then you plan your route using the maps in the canyon and you utilize the shuttles.  They are busy.  They are packed.  This photo (below) was not 'packed'.  We still had plenty of room on this one.  I think because we were heading out to a lesser-visited stop....  (this wasn't dick-wads shuttle either.  I think this one was a woman who was being trained as a shuttle driver if I remember correctly.)   

I don't even know if dick-wad still works there.  Hopefully enough guests complained about this jerk and he was let go.  He really needs a job where he doesn't come into contact with any humans.  Or animals.  It wouldn't be fair to animals either.  He just needs to work by himself in a small area with... numbers and accounting or something.  NO HUMANS.  

As we are still in quarantine mode, my 'traveling' and hiking and camping is all done through memories and photos right now.  And because I was researching and buying those hydration bladders yesterday and some of the camping food to store away until I can use it, that's just where my head is right now.

Don't mind me... it's just the coffee talking again.


Some items related to this post you might be interested in, available through Amazon;

camping meals
hydration packs
hiking shoes