The Grandest Canyon

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Thursday, February 8, 2007

Waking at the crack of dawn it would be the start of a long 14 hour return trip to go see a giant crack in the earth. Not the only one stumbling out of bed in the dark at this time though with Andrew a Uk'er from Newcastle also rising to get the bus with pillow in hand before we hopped around the other large casino hotels (or places we couldn't afford) picking up others.

Our driver / guide for the day was from Guam who never shut up for the whole 6 hours or so drive to the Canyon. The. Whole. Damn. Time. Has to be some kind of record.

First though we made a brief stop at Hoover Dam which appeared more impressive than the larger three gorges dam in China simply due to Hoover's greater height. From here we ploughed on down historic route 66 towards stopping along the way at a roadside trading post place full of route 66 memorabilia and souvenirs. Favorite had to be the route 66 toilet paper though at a truck stop: 'From the mother road for the mother load!'.

Continuing on into Arizona the driver took 20 minutes explaining how we should collect our lunch at the next stop, which was only a sandwich but he went on and on repeating himself continually that you needed to know which one you ordered otherwise you would have to wait. "If you don't know, I don't know so you have to wait till everyone else has there's and see what's left. Form a line and I will hand them out to you but you must know what you had ordered. If you don't know you will have to go to the back of the line. When you know what sandwich is yours come and get it, if you don't know wait till everyone else has there's first. If you don't know you will have to wait". FOR 20 BLOODY MINUTES!!! ARRARGGGGHHHHH!!!

Everything just seems to be such a mission for some people here.

Finally reaching the south rim of the canyon I was almost prepared to throw myself into it on arrival after another 15 minute talk on how to get from the drop off point to the pick up point 2 miles down the road. For flips sake if the canyon is no longer on your right hand side you are going the wrong way, it ain't exactly hard to miss.

Letting my ears ring clear first on getting off the bus I wondered just how spectacular the canyon would be thinking to myself I had seen so many amazing natural wonders this year and that it's just a big crack. Stepping up to the canyon rim for the first time though the only thing falling into the canyon was my jaw. Wow. The sheer scale of it took my breath away with parts still under a some recent snow fall adding a surreal element to the desert setting.

Two other escapees were Christie and Dixon from Melbourne over here enjoying the ski season up at Lake Tahoe having a good laugh with them as we made our way together along the rim taking silly optical illusion pics of us hanging off the edge and seeing who could throw a snowball the furthest into the canyon. Staring down the 1 mile deep canyon to the Colorado river below which looked little more than a stream we all said it looked fake, like a painting or dodgy backdrop from an old western movie although the only Indians we encountered today were a few from the many Indian reservations in the area.

Reaching the end of the winding path that crept along the rim of the canyon we were the last to arrive having messed around so much along the way not having much time to check out the souvenir shop at the end wondering whether they could get a stuffed Bison head through Australian customs.

Grudgingly boarding the bus again the driver did promise not to open his trap the whole way home...that lasted 23 seconds. He did shut up eventually though only uttering something (I'd managed to blank him out like some kind of white noise) on nearing Las Vegas looking up to see the light from the Luxor Pyramid Casino in the sky, while we were still 20 miles away.

I now had 2 hours in Vegas before boarding another bus for another 16 hour journey this time to San Francisco enjoying the entertainment in another Greyhound bus station with some guy getting arrested shouting some untranslatable crap as they dragged him away.

Ain't Greyhound fun?
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