We got to the Jacob Lake Inn as planned late in the afternoon of May 25, and had a few moments of panic as their computer system said that we had reserved the nights of May 24 and 25th instead of 25th and 26th. Fortunately, Robin had the confirmation email on her phone, and they were very nice about it, finding us rooms. The meal options are limited in the area — there’s a KFC somewhere nearby, but you’re pretty much committed to eating at the Inn. It’s in the woods, with trails leading out through the pines. I never did make it to the lake, which I understand is actually just a small pond anyway. I did hike in about a mile before breakfast, seeing loads of Grace’s Warblers and Yellow-Rumped Warblers, along with a bunch of Flickers, and the very peculiar Kaibab Squirrel with its fluffy white tail. One lifer in the woods — Plumbeous Vireo, which I heard singing everywhere, and finally got some good looks at.
We headed for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in the morning. The scenery is completely different from what you get approaching the south rim; on the south, it’s high desert scrubland, while from the north it’s tall conifers and broad alpine wetland meadows. As we neared the park boundary, I looked out the window and saw a Mountain Bluebird perched on a sign — a lifer with the naked eye at 50 mph.
At the park, we went to the visitor center and the lodge, where we made a reservation for an early dinner. Then we decided to drive east along the rim to visit several overlooks. As we started driving on the rim road, it started to snow — first a few wet slushy flakes, then little snowball pellets, and eventually just big flakes and lots of them. We had some very chilly views. When we finally got out to Point Royal, the snow let up and there was a little sun for our walk out to the overlook.
When we got back to the visitor center the sun had come out and it was actually pretty pleasant. As we had about an hour and a half before our dinner reservation, we decided to take a loop hike near the center, which was pleasant enough until it started to rain about halfway through. By the time we got to the lodge for our dinner, we were pretty damp and cold. Dinner was outstanding, though, so we ended the day in pretty good spirits.