Friday, June 27, 2008

The Journey: The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon must be the the top of the list for must see wonders of the natural world. It's useless to try to describe the canyon with words, and pictures do not do it justice -- although I have seen some very beautful photographs. Is it enough to say that when I first saw it I literally gulped and my eyes filled with tears. It is overwhelming. It's a shame the word 'awesome' is now so over used ...
We entered the park on the western side and our first stop was 'Mather Point', which is probably the most spectacular of all the stop areas along Desert View Drive. As with other beautiful places we visited on our trip, we became rather overwhelmed by yet one more spectacle! However, I am not complaining -- just an observing.

My nephew had urged me to be sure to be there for sunset. Unfortunately, it wasn't possible to time our visit to coincide with sunset time and we wanted to get on our way to Flagstaff for the night. But then this is all the more reason to have to go again! The weather that day was disappointing -- quite cool and very cloudy. So we weren't witness to the drama of the canyon colors and definition. I should point out that we visited the Grand Canyon National Park and did not see the Canyon from the Native American Reservations, which we understand is probably for more intrepid visitors anyway. I would have liked to go on the 'Sky Walk', which is some miles west of the National Park on Indian land.

I do suffer some from fear of heights, and was amazed to find several places along the National Park Road that had no protective railings and where several people ventured out onto death defying promontaries! We stayed carefully back and when possible behind railings and fencing! I understand on good authority and the Rev'd Rod Garner slipped and nearly slid off the edge! At some point when we were viewing yet another vista, I felt sure I'd found 'the very spot' where tragedy could have struck!
Although the weather was cooler than expected and cloudier than usual, it did make for an interesting sky by the time we reached Desert View, the last stop on our tour of the Canyon. Fierce rain clouds that threatened by never reached us, made for an interesting back drop. I also like this picture below because the Colorado River is clearly visible.
I really want to go back again some day so that I can more fully appreciate what was before me. My brother and sister-in-law once took a trip down the Colorado and I wouldn't mind seeing the Canyon from that close looking up. It must be amazing. I envy those physically fit enough to hike and explore the many trails, but seeing it from the River that must be something else!
So we headed for Flagstaff, along the road that follows the Little Colorado and toward the San Francisco Mountains. Flagstaff is a lovely old town, on the old Route 66, with lots of intriguing little shops and restaurants and situated beautifully beneath the mountain. We found a reasonably priced motel and then headed out to find a restaurant. We opted for Mulligan's Sports Pub and Grill, which was friendly enough and excellent service, but not particularly impressive and the food not memorable enough to remember! If only my computer had been working, I'd have been able to do some research.
The next morning we set off for our next all to brief adventure: Sedona and the red rock country and our six day respite with my wonder nephew and niece in Albuquerque.


  1. If you manage to get back then you should try to go down the first part of the South Kaibab Trail, at least as far as Ooh-Aah Point!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Peter. I've made a note for the future. Let's hope I've still got the stamina when I get there!


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