Upon arriving at Indian Garden, they will welcome the chance to dismount and stretch. Some will now be noticing the first signs of soreness in a place where they are not accustomed to feeling it. Others will just be happy for the opportunity to walk around and straighten their legs. If it is summertime, the wrangler will line all the riders up and hose them down - no exceptions - with cool water piped across the Canyon from Roaring Springs over on the Canyon's north wall, and it turns out to be fun for everyone. Mid-day temperatures in the Canyon can be extremely high and the symptoms of overheating are sometimes difficult to recognize. The wrangler will once again check everyone's tack, and they are off to Plateau Point. By now, a few of them will even fancy themselves real cowboys.
The trail out to Plateau Point is flat and uneventful, giving no hint of the spectactular view they are approaching. Even as they are dismounting at the pipe hitching rail they are still largely unsuspecting. Only when they clamber up on the huge flat rock and make their way out to the pipe rail at the far edge, do they get their first view of the Colorado River peacefully wandering along the Canyon floor. It is still so far below that it resembles a piece of blue string lying on the ground. A brief reverential silence usually occurs, and then the exclamations begin. This will be what some will always recall first. It is breathtaking for sure. One last look, a few thoughts and comments about the beauty and power of mother nature, and they mount up and head back to Indian Garden for lunch. Everyone is always ready for lunch.
They were all given sack lunches when they checked in at the lodge this morning. A light lunch, but tasty. There won't be any complaints as they relax on a short rock wall, munching away, discussing the natural wonder they have become a part of for one memorable day in their life. They will all be feeling some level of physical discomfort by now, and when the wrangler says "OK riders, let's hose off once more and mount up", most of them will be thinking they would rather sit right where they are just a little longer.
The trip back up the Canyon wall will be quieter and probably uneventful. It has been a long day and they will be tired by now. With their backs to the valley, they will trudge up and out of this mystical world and back to the civilization to which they are accustomed. When the wrangler announces a rest stop for the animals, they will sit quietly and gaze back down into the Canyon. Their comments will be predictable - "It's just gorgeous" or "I'm so glad we made this trip" or "We were all the way down there?!". Whatever the comments, the appreciation in their voices is clear.
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