Monday, September 26, 2011

The Grand Canyon, At Last

Grand Canyon
We finally made it to the Grand Canyon. For some reason, it is a place I have long wanted to see, and today I finally made it. It was all I had hoped it would be.  I will try to catch you up on the trip--thank God I am back in the world of the internet, as it was kind of spotty at the Grand Canyon and I wasn't able to get to my blog, although I did try. (We are in Lake Powell, AZ right now and I am catching up on the blog). We left Sedona about noon after spending the morning walking a few more trails, the best of which was the Chapel of The Rock, which is a church that was built right into the red rocks of Sedona.
Chapel of the Rock

Walt at the Chapel of the Rock

We ate lunch outside at a place called Sedona Memories (HUGE chicken salad sandwiches and delicious bread), and then we were on our way up 89A again,  through Oak Creek Canyon, finally on our way to the Grand Canyon. 
So excited!
We stopped in Tusayan, a town right before the GC, to see the IMAX movie about the Canyon, and John Wesley Powell is our new hero. He was a civil war veteran who only had one arm and was the first to make it down the Colorado River in the canyon in a boat (1869). He was quite an adventurer! Anyway, as we started our way on the road toward the Canyon, look who we saw.
Elk on Grand Canyon road
First look at Grand Canyon

The elk are everywhere--we saw them outside our hotel, outside the restaurants, on the roads. It's cool cause on the road everyone stops their cars and takes photos. After getting our first view of the Canyon at Mather Point (the first picture above), we went to our lodging at the Maswick Lodge, a bare bones place in the Grand Canyon Village, but only a short walk to the rim.  After checking in, we walked over to the rim and, as the sun was setting, had some magnificent views of the Grand Canyon. It is a truly humbling place. So vast, so quiet, so beautiful, almost impossible to describe and to photograph. 
Sun setting on Grand Canyon
Sun setting on Grand Canyon
We had dinner reservations at El Tovar, which is the nicest hotel on the rim, and it was very nice (except for the weird waiter, who kept calling us "the gentleman" and "the lady." Hehe. But the best was after dinner, when we had to make our way back to our lodge in the dark, along the rim. It was a little scary and we got a little lost, but we finally made it without falling over the rim. We kept seeing lights moving in the canyon and quickly realized it was hikers making their way UP the trail in the dark. Can you even imagine?  And the stars--AMAZING. The first time I saw a sky like that was last year in Maine, but the stars over the Grand Canyon are truly a phenomenon. It is like the sky is solid stars. We could see the Milky Way, which seemed to stretch over the whole sky. A great first day at the Grand Canyon.

1 comment:

  1. Spectacular photos, Patsi. I am so glad you did not go over the rim. Looks like a perfect trip so far. Love traveling virtually with you and Walt.