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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grand Canyon: Little Nutty Guys

Everywhere you look in the Grand Canyon we saw every type of squirrel and chipmunk busy collecting for the winter to come. In particular we I was on a mission to see the Kaibab squirrel, a squirrel that is found only on the Kaibab plateau where the North Rim campground is found, it is found nowhere else in the world. Of course finding one particular squirrel is easier said than done, especially when the locals nickname this particular squirrel the Silver Ghost because of its long white tail and because it is hard to find. But I was determined.

In the quest to find the Kaibab Squirrel we happened to see many of his distant cousins.

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ARIZONA RED SQUIRREL

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ROCK SQUIRREL

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LEAST CHIPMUNK

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ANTELOPE GROUND SQUIRREL

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THE KAIBAB'S CLOSE COUSIN THE ALBERT'S SQUIRREL

By the 3 in the afternoon on the fourth day at the North Rim I was really frustrated. We were only here ONE MORE DAY and I swear if I did not get a photo I was gonna go berserk. When we got back to the campsite Mr. Rogue and I were sitting at the picnic table looking at each other’s photos from the days hike. As we were pointing out ones we like and lightly bantering back and forth Mr. Rogue all of a sudden exclaimed that there was a Kaibab squirrel right behind me. HAHAHA very funny Mr. Rogue, I am not falling for that one. But at his insistence I turned to see not only one Kaibab squirrel but two right in our DAMN campsite. Luckily I had my camera in my hand and I spent the next hour happily shooting away.

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THE KAIBAB SQUIRREL

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It was a long day. Mr. Rogue started the fire and we began cooking dinner. We were talking about how neither of us really wanted to sleep on the ground in the cold another night and with that one statement despite the fact that it was pitch black we broke camp and within the hour we were on the road.

I think the majority of our decision rested on the fact that neither of us wanted to eat what we had left for dinner, both of us were tired of sleeping on the ground, it was cold, but the biggest issue was the long walk to the restroom in the middle of the night. That was the deal breaker for me, the thing I was MOST sick of.

The Grand Canyon is in a desert, therefore everything is really dry. That coupled with the amount of walking we were doing every day spiked our water consumption to almost double. So with my gerbil bladder I found myself two or three times a night climbing out of my warm sleeping bag, getting dressed warmly and trudging to the bathroom in freezing cold weather. It was less that pleasant.

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THE BUILDING WAY IN THE DISTANCE WAS MY WALK OF PAIN

So we ended up in some random town three hours on our way to Vegas at a Motel 8, hey it was the best we could do. I cannot tell you how much that crappy hotel with its horrible mattress of straw felt like a five star hotel after sleeping on the ground for 13 days. That night I was such a cheap date.

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