Surprise, surprise…it looks like there is limited internet access in Grand Canyon. I’m going to attempt to post a blog for today, but not sure if pictures will post.
We started this morning at the Best Western in Kingman, Arizona, and our plan was to follow as much of Route 66 as we could, heading to our eventual stop for the night, Grand Canyon National Park. In our opinion, the parts of Route 66 that we traveled yesterday were much more of what we expected. Today’s travel was dull and boring, with very little remnants of Route 66 establishments that failed. Unlike yesterday’s travels through mountain passes, the majority of today’s travel was straight as an arrow. Honestly, when we got to the point where Route 66 joined with Interstate 40, we were happy.
We traveled Interstate 40 to Williams, Arizona, and then headed north towards the South Entrance of GCNP. Just outside the entrance to the park, is the National Geographic IMAX Theater, which presents Grand Canyon, The Hidden Secrets. We’d read about the 35 minute movie, and it sounded good, so we stopped to check it out. Lots of incredible photography, and a couple of interesting stories about early Grand Canyon explorers.
Then it was on to the main attraction, Grand Canyon. Only a few cars in front of us at the main gate, and an easy entrance using my Senior Pass, and we were on our way. About 4 miles from the entrance gate, we followed signs to the Visitor Center and Mather Point, so Susie could get her first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. I’d seen it once before as a 10 year old, but it’s 56 years older than it was back then, so perhaps it had changed. Well, I’ll tell you one thing that changed is the amount of crowds we encountered! The parking lot was practically full, and there were people everywhere walking! Speaking about the crowds, we feel like strangers in our own country, because 90% of the people we’ve encountered are foreign tourists! English, Mexican, Danish, German, Swedish, and oh God, every Asian person who is old enough to travel! I guess they are all aware of the natural beauty our country has!
We walked, and walked, and walked, and finally Susie had her first sight of the rim of the canyon, and said, “Oh My God!” You may have seen pictures of this place, but they just can’t compare to being here in the flesh! After a few dozen pictures, we got back into the car to head to our ultimate destination, a Bright Angel Lodge Cabin, just feet from the rim!
We managed to find a parking spot, not too far from Bright Angel Lodge, and check in was very simple. We were given a key and a map showing us where our cabin was located. Luckily, we parked close, and soon were in our little cabin. It’s now about quarter to six, and the day visitors are clearing out and hopefully, those of us staying in the park will be in the majority. The temperature is only around 70, and there is a pretty good breeze blowing, so we are thinking of changing into our long pants and wearing our sweat shirts. Our plan is to make a drink, and walk out to “our rim” and sit and sip, as we watch the canyon and wait for sunset! It should be a little after 6 PM tonight, Mountain Standard time, and what I’ve read is that you want to be observing the canyon for a half an hour before and after the time of sunset. Wish us luck!!
Well, sunset was definitely everything it was cracked up to be! Just to explain, you don’t see the sun setting over the canyon. What happens is that as the sun slowly sinks to the west, it changes the way the canyon looks. The sun makes some parts bright red, while other parts go into deep shadow. Cocktails and sunset on the canyon rim definitely worked out well! A couple of vodkas on the rocks (with a twist) made it easy to sit on the rim wall, watch both the sunset and the passing parade of tourists, and enjoy a great view! That it’s just a short walk from our cabin made it even better!!
Then it was off to the Arizona Room for a bottle of wine, and a delightful dinner! Stopped briefly in the gift shop, and actually bought something! A book for Susie and a hat for me. We have been thru many gift shops on this trip, but have restrained ourselves. Now, some relaxing, and to bed early. Bed Early because we need to be up at 5:30 or so, to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Yea, we know it’s nuts, but when are we going to get to do this again???
Night you all…see you tomorrow!