3 November 2012
After checking in, we head straight to the rim – it’s hard to stay away. It's completely captivating. I never expected it to be quite so big. It stretches out in both directions as far as the eye can see. A mere ten miles away as the crow flies is the other side - the north rim, but it'll take you 256 miles to get around from one side to the other. Down below, the Colorado river cuts a deep track through the canyon. Tributaries and footpaths wind through the valley. I'm amazed that there are big sections along the edge without a railing - and the drop is fierce and straight down. This is not the kind of place you want to bring small children.
But a chill breeze is whipping up from the canyon, and soon we’re inside sipping on warm apple cider, which is sweet and cinnamon-y, and lights a warm fire inside.
Jees it is icy out here. We’re hit by the biting cold as we walk out the door to head to breakfast. My ears are pounding, nose running, and fingers frozen when we reach the El Tovar - a mere ten minute walk way! Pancakes and hot coffee to the rescue.
We take the morning slow after that, wandering around the Grand Canyon Village - along the rim, to the park headquarters and the marketplace. It's wonderful to see the desert landscape so alive with trees, scrubs and elk. Yes, elk. Cool hey?
There's these wonderful tarred pathways along much of the rim, and through the park, which make for a nice gentle walk around the grounds.
Lunch is, once again, at the El Tovar. French onion soup starter, and peanut chicken lettuce wraps as a main. We share both. The portions here are just to big to order our own meals. But the food sure is good.
We were told that one of the best spots to watch the sunset is at Mohave Point, and (with a bit of rushing towards the end of the walk) make it just in time.
[Map from Google Maps]