The title says it all… Grand is the best way to describe our week in this National Park. We arrived Friday afternoon and set off immediately for the visitor center. Of course parking was difficult, the line for the theater was huge, and there was even a line to talk to a ranger! We persevered, watched the introductory movie and headed out to walk along the rim for the first time. It took our breath away. The rest of the week was filled with exploring every aspect of the rim. We took the blue shuttle to get to the red shuttle and we even got on the orange shuttle for a spell. I have to admit their shuttle service is down to a science. Mike even caught an 5:00 AM shuttle to get the above sunrise shot.
Although Mike only took one sunrise expedition, we made it out for every sunset on the rim. Besides the views I think the most amazing part of this trip was the people. We met people from all over the world in our short stay. It was fun just trying to figure out the language they were speaking. No matter where they were from, the thrill of being on the edge of the cliff was universal. And you could always tell who the moms were. They were the ones yelling at their kids to get back away from the edge.
Grand Canyon is not known for its wildlife like Yellowstone, but we did happen to run into the native Elk everywhere we went. At first we kept missing getting a shot of them and then they became almost pesky. They were everywhere and especially in our campsite. Our neighbors even had to shoo them away with a broom. Think of them like the squirrels at Yosemite–always around.
Our biggest excursion by far was our short trip, .9 miles, down into the canyon. It took Mike several days to talk me into it and in the end it was worth it. Although we didn’t go that far, it did give us a sense of being inside the canyon. It was 40 minutes down and 60 minutes back up the switchbacks–but we made it. We shared the trail with a lot of people and several teams of mules. We now understand why it is called one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Next up…A stop over on the corner of Winslow, Arizona for all you Baby Boomers!