The Grandest Canyon of them all
Grand Canyon Travel Blog› entry 7 of 12 › view all entries
June 18th, 2009 – by: HeatherHop
As I said before….much to my delight, the Grand Canyon turned out to be awesome! After our long and boring drive, we arrived at the Grand Canyon National Park and stopped along the side of the road next to one of the lookout points to have our first look at the canyon.
We walked around a bit and looked at the canyon, but when it started to rain we visited the visitor’s center and the gift shop. I bought a book about the Havasupai Native Americans, whose ancestral land is actually inside of the Grand Canyon. I am interested to read this book and find out about these people.
When the rain died out (which thankfully didn’t take that long) we went on our way and ended up in the village. I never knew the Grand Canyon had a village, but they had hotels and restaurants and everything. You can actually stay at the Grand Canyon in a hotel! Whoa, I never knew that! (haha, I didn’t!). The lodge had a little restaurant in it, and we were hungry so we decided to have lunch there. It was pretty good. I had the roasted red pepper soup, which was delicious, and the spinach rolls, which were actually veggie and black bean rolls in spinach tortillas. They were good, but they were even better when I put Grand Canyon brand hot sauce on them, yum!
After lunch we wandered down the road a little bit and found the entrance to the Bright Angel Trail.
We continued down the trail and found a really neat looking archway that cut into the rocks. We stopped there to take a picture and along the way met a Japanese lady who had hiked down into the canyon 4½ hours and was currently attempting to make her way back up.
We kept going down, down, down into the canyon. It was beautiful and exciting and really not that difficult to go down, so we just kept going and going. We hiked down for a little over an hour, and I would say we made it just over a mile down into the canyon, maybe 1¼ miles. If it wasn’t going to get dark relatively soon, we would have kept going down into the canyon even farther! It was so beautiful and so much fun, but given the circumstances, we decided to head back up.
Now, let me tell you something about hiking in the Grand Canyon. No matter how easy it was to go down, it is going to be a million times harder to go back up. I have the extra added disadvantage of living at sea level, and therefore having trouble with the thin air whenever I visit anywhere that has elevation. Climbing back up was TOUGH!
To illustrate just how tough it is, there is a sign when you enter the trail. It has a picture of a young, athletic woman who ran in the Boston Marathon. It then goes on to talk about how she died of dehydration in the Grand Canyon. Mind you, she and her friend were rather dumb, trying to hike all the way down into the canyon and back in one day, and only packing a small bottle of water and an apple as snacks. But…it goes to show that the canyon is not to be messed with.
On that lovely note, I would like to add that I would actually love to hike all the way down into the Grand Canyon at some point. Of course, I would give myself proper time and would bring proper supplies.
After our hike, we ventured out along the canyon by car to find the watchtower, which I have always wanted to see (It just always looked neat in pictures). It is all the way at the end next to the East entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park (We came in at the South entrance). So, we drove over there, about 20 miles, to see the watchtower. Along the way we stopped to look at an Elk that was eating some plants right by the side of the road. It was a beautiful animal.
We continued driving down the road, right alongside the canyon, but unable to see it most of the time because of all the trees.
We didn’t really have much time to draw, as the sun was quickly setting, but we gave it our best attempt anyway.
We stopped in Flagstaff for a late-night dinner at a pizza place (the only place that was open). The food was ok, but the environment of this restaurant was actually quite delightful. They were playing good music, and we had a good time singing along.
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