This is also the trail that the mules use but did not pass any coming or going. After I came back to the rim I did see a mule train below. I was slightly surprised at the size of the mules. I had in my mind the smaller slim breeds that I remembered from childhood but these are the larger, stocky mules that come from crossing with a Belgian horse. You can tell partially by their coloring and their very striking Roman nose, in addition to the size. They still have a 200 lb. weight limit on who can ride the mules though. I thought this was interesting. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the mules when we passed by the barns. As we crossed through that area I looked up to see a tall man approaching. He had a white beard with a cowboy hat pulled down slightly over his eyes. Very handsome in a rough kinda way. I thought to myself, 'that's the mule handler'. Turns out I was right, as I later saw him organizing the mules for the trip.
Another thing that I thought was interesting was that anytime we were out on the rim trails, where you had to do a lot of walking, you rarely heard English being spoken, only foreign languages. And many, many different ones at that. However, whenever we passed by the eating establishments, or when I was down in the Canyon on the trail, you heard English. That was interesting also. And not to say there were never any foreign visitors near the restaurants but the Americans seemed to flock there.
This was on the way down Bright Angel. There were a couple of these pass-through rocks. I was also surprised, although I'm not sure why, at how close to the edge of the canyon you could get. Of course, they can't block everything but you know how sue-happy people are and afraid of everything these days. But you could just walk right out on the edges and if you slipped just a little...well, nice knowing you. They actually had a sign up that said very few people fall over the edge but there has been about 600 people die in the Canyon since it became a tourist destination. They have actually published a book about it although most of the incidences are quite grisly.
If you look close to the lower center of the pic you my see some hikers who were coming up the trail as I went down. You can see how close I am to the edge and how far it is but there were only a few times that I felt uncomfortable and that was on the rim above, not on the trail.
Well, we are still in Flagstaff just enjoying a day of rest and milling around town. We are also planning where to go next. Probably Mesa Verde or somewhere similar.