Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Road Trip Diaries: Grand Canyon, AZ

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.

4 November 2012

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.
In the afternoon we catch the shuttle westbound, to see another section of the canyon. At the second last stop we jump out, and walk back towards the village. It's a marvellous way to get away from the crowds, and to really enjoy the peaceful quality of the canyon.
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.
5 November 2012

We decide to skip out on the Grand Canyon a day early - we've covered most of the South Rim by bus, car and foot, and since it's off-season, there's not much else to do. It's too cold (and we have colds) to venture into the canyon, the summer musical performances and evening programs ended a long time ago. It's actually about a week until most of the resort shuts down for winter.

So after one last breakfast at the El Tovar, and one last stop to take in the view at Yavapai Point, we're off.

Cancelling our last night at the Maswik Lodge means we now have one free night until we get to our next destination, and we've decided to use it for a spontaneous detour... Las Vegas.

[Map from Google Maps]


lucille said...

Your pix capture the grandeur of the canyon, Robyn! Wonderful. mom

Reaching Robyn said...

It definitely is a very grand canyon.

Get it?

Grand canyon.

The Grand Canyon.

Ha! Genius.