Third tour of the Grand Canyon, wow!

Flagstaff Travel Blog

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My girlfriend/colleague Maria from Puerto Rico

This is my third trip to the Grand Canyon in two years: Can you tell that I love this place? It is like no other place I have ever been to.  My first trip was made during spring break in 2006 whith my daughter: We took a break to visit family friends in Las Vegas and from there, decided it was time to venture as tourists. While touring the Circus Circus hotel, we came to the informations desk where many seemed to be booking tours to the Grand Canyon. We did not book there and then, but two days later, I decided I wanted to take a bus tour so we can see what the typical tourist sees on these trips. We took a bus tour from Las Vegas to the Canyon with a bunch of strangers - great bus tour that we had never before experienced.

The second tour of the Grand Canyon was during the festive season of Christmas in 2006 when my sister and her family visited from London.

It was the first year in many years that it had snowed as much as it did this year. Sonoita where I lived had snow covered mountains and the hill sides were grey and white (beautiful I might add). We drove from Sonoita to the Canyon and back in 3 days, had an incredible time there.

The 4th of July this year (2008) makes for the third but not final tour to the great phenomenon of nature - the Grand Canyon again. My decision to go on this trip took but a minute or two after my colleague from Puerto Rico asked what I was doing over the three-day weekend of Independence Day. With nothing in mind, I casually suggested we could go to Vegas and be back in time to continue training. And just like that, a decision was made. The next day, we bid for a hotel room on priceline.

com and with the same action decided we would take a tour of the Canyon while we are at it. Besides this would be Maria's first tour of the Grand Canyon.

This would also be my first road tour with a friend on such an enormous amount of miles on the road. Maria being on company business has a rental car that she is using for the duration of her stay, what a better way to run miles (on a rental car), lol! We split the bills, gas and all. The ride was smooth all the way until we got within 20 miles of the Eastern gate to the Canyon, when all of a sudden a great down pour of rain and dark clouds built over a 30 mile radius over the canyon.

On previous visits, I had approached the canyon from the southeastern gate, which is closest to the Visitor Center and IMAX theatre.

This would be my first approach from the eastern gate. I wondered as we approached why the roads looked strange and less crowded. It did not occur to me from the map that the route we look led us to the eastern gate. I must admit it was incredible getting in from this gate because it gave us a coastline on 26 miles with over ten viewing stops as we toured the canyon. Along this route there were many overlooks with spectacular views of the canyon. We arrived at the Canyon from the East gate and drove towards the south following the Desert View Drive, it follows the canyon rim for twenty six (26) miles to Desert View - the east entrance to the park. Desert View Drive is open to private vehicles throughout the year. Hermit Road follows the rim for eight miles west from Grand Canyon Village to Hermits Rest.
The East entrance to the park
Hermit Road is closed to private vehicles much of the year.

It was not easy to stop at each viewing point as the rain and winds roared like they were being called by the great hole in the ground. Our first stop was the Navajo point: great view of the Colorado River running through the canyon and the variation in land color with each curve drop.

Maria was in awe, the glitter in her eye and the disbelief reminded me of my very first visit: feeling small as I stood beside what Mother Nature had made a wonder of. The grand expanse of land dropping thousands of feet below, the sun across causing shimmering colors of earthen red, brown, gray, green and all. Despite her excitement, she was very afraid of getting any closer to the edge - she tried to tell me she had height forbia, but could not remember the word.

I must admit I did not figure out that she was trying to tell me of her fear of heights until much later. Each time I asked to take a photo of her, she closed her eyes before she could make one step closer to the fencing, lol! But at the end of it all, we got some good shots to show you.

To all who come to Arizona, I challenge to go to the Grand Canyon National park, home of the Grand Canyon, one of the natural wonders of the world. You will never regret it.


Africancrab says:
Thank you, it is indeed a place you should visit, it is worth every penny you spend. It is better in the warmer months because the effect of the sun on the Canyon is beyond description.
Posted on: Dec 20, 2009
furiousfowl says:
awesome pics of the grand canyon. one place i'm close to but never been. i need to plan a trip here
Posted on: Dec 20, 2009
Flyinhigh says:
That would be cool (pun intended) to see it with snow. You have to go and take many pics of the Grand Canyon with snow have you seen? I sense another featured blog by Harriet!!!! Go girl!
Posted on: Dec 12, 2009
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My girlfriend/colleague Maria from…
My girlfriend/colleague Maria fro…
The East entrance to the park
The East entrance to the park
Me standing by the park signage
Me standing by the park signage
Maria by a dying tree
Maria by a dying tree
Maria got so passionate with the d…
Maria got so passionate with the …
photo by: walterman9999