Grand Canyon Travel Blog› entry 35 of 42 › view all entries
On our second full day we had decided a long time ago to go to the Grand Canyon and booked a bus tour. We were picked up from the hotel at 6am and taken to the main office to pick up the coach for a very long journey across the desert. Not far out of Las Vegas we went across Hoover Dam where we had a pitiful amount of time to take a couple of photos before getting back on the bus. It was incredible to see though, a real feat of engineering which was necessary in order to tame the violent and unpredictable Colorado river.
After stopping for a lunch of dubious quality, we arrived at the South Rim just after 1pm to be told we had one hour to look around before getting on the bus to go to the gift shop. Hmmm, one hour, not quite enough time to see something of that scale, but a bus tour was never really going to give us that. We walked across the car park and suddenly the ground seemed to open up in front of us. I don't even know how to describe it, there was just this vast hole, with the sides layered red, brown and orange as millions of years worth of rocks were displayed in front of us. The canyon itself has taken 6 million years to form as we know it today, with the Colorado river cutting through the rock on it's journey to California. Looking down, you thought you might see the bottom, but then it cracked up again, we saw the river a couple of times though.
Begrudgingly we went back to the bus an hour later to drive to the gift shop and cafe where annoyingly we were given as much time there as at the rim. We could however walk back a little and see the canyon again, which is what we did. One of the cool things about the forming of the canyon is that the ground squirrel species was split, and half ended up on the south and half to the north. So over millions of years these identical squirrels have evolved apart from each other and are now different species! Despite signs saying that tame squirrels would be relocated and probably die, people were feeding them and stroking them which was stupid.
So after a short amount of time we were back on the bus for the journey home which would take us till about 8.30pm, long day. It was fantastic, completely humbling that this vast geological feature has been forming for millions of years, but I wish we could have stayed longer. Next time....