At the entrance to the park.
This all began about six months ago. I was flying into the Phoenix area on business and our plane took an unusual approach to the airport in Chandler
. The approach took us low over the Grand Canyon. It was at this point when I thought "Oh My God. I have to take my family to this place". I re-arranged our plans so that Mia and Alex (ok - we all know how that worked out) could see "The Ditch" and still visit their mom. We canceled plans to visit Phoenix - where we have friends - in order to have enough time to get to the GC.
We left Las Vegas in the morning and got to the GC about 4pm.
A couple of notes on the drive. The Odyssey (AKA Miss Idaho) consummed horrific amounts of gasoline on this leg.
Eva and I at the south rim.
I am confident this was due to the fact that I simultaneous drove 270 miles in the XY plane and over one mile in the Z plane. This was driven at 80 MPH (130 KPH) for the entire distance. The scenary was beautful. Rugged and rough and changing. It was very cool. We saw a bear (I think it was a bear. It may have been a Sasquatch sitting on a log, taking a dump. Or maybe a huge Racoon. Like radioactive huge), lots of white tailed deer and lots of rabbits. But I was driving too fast to do anything about these last two, at least in terms of arranging for dinner.
Finally, we arrived at the GC - a bit tired and a bit crazy from the hard day in the van.
So how do I describe it? I will first say that in the course of planning this trip, I looked at lots of pictures of the Grand Canyon.
The Colorado River at the bottom.
Not one of the pictures came close to reproducing the place. For those of you reading this what have been to the place, you already know what I mean. For those of you that have never been, please consider making this a "Bucket List" item to be completed before you depart this plane of existance. I have been to many beautiful place on this earth, but this may be the most breath taking. I will add pictures to this blog, but they really stand as proof that we were there, and not to really capture the beatuty and grandure of the place.
The GC is a mile deep (very freaking scary if you are at the top with two young boys who are intent on recovering from being strapped in a seat for six hours - take my word on that) and in some places ten miles across.
Checking out the far side.
The vegetation around the top reminds me of Northern Saskatchewan with slender trees and lots od space between them. The rocks show many layers and look like you could pick off a few layers with ease. The Colorado river at the bottom of the canyon, from the top, looks like a very small brown snake. Very small. Of course we only looked at it from two vantage points on the South Rim. I am sure there are other places that offer different perspectives and views. Also, it is possible to see this place from the North Rim, you can hike to the bottom, take a jeep to the bottom, rent a helicopter or hike from the top of the South Rim to the top of the Norht Rim - and presumably back to the south Rim unless you hired the aforemention 'copter to come and pick you up.
A small buck inthe campground.
If I go again, I beleive I would take the jeep to the bottom. It sounds like it would be very fun in a rough, rugged adventursome way and at the same time, I imagine the views would be completely different. One day perhaps. But viewing from the South Rim was spectacular. We did not walk out on the viewing deck. Too far away, too expensive and I have heard from numerous people that it is not adding to much to the experience. So we have that a pass.
The weather was hot, aroiunf 80 F or 27 C, with no humidity, and at 7000+ feet above sea level, the air is quite thin. We went through quite a bit of water.
There was a couple of funny tourism things I observed. I heard one elderly(ish) woman inform her husband that it was too high up for the birds. There were indeed some feathered friends flying *below* us, but there were also plenty flying above us. More to the point, if the old bitty had looked at the hand rail she was hanging on to for dear life, she might have noticed all the bird crap on it. And on her paulsy right hand. Oh well.
There were deer calmly wandering around, rabbits, birds (as previously noted) and lots of tourists.
This was one of the highlights of the trip so far (no offence to family, friends, new babies and hills in San Fransisco) and maybe even of my life. It is worth going to see.