Of the Canyon & Silent Awe...

Trip Start Aug 13, 2007
Trip End Nov 12, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, October 5, 2007

It took us about an hour today to get to the visitor center in the Grand Canyon (and $25 bucks to get through the entrance gate!). Our first brief views of the canyon were from Mathers Point, squashed together amongst about 100 other bustling, yakking tourists (don't these people understand the concept of silent awe???). Aside from the mass of humanity, the view was just breath taking. It felt like we were looking at a giant tv screen on which a documentary of the Grand Canyon was playing, we just couldn't believe we were really there! A short walk to the visitor's center (which was new & very flash) where we picked up the kids Junior Ranger booklets. On the way back to the truck, Fred & the kids spotted a snake only inches away from the guard rail.

An over-the-canyon plane flight was booked for 11am, so we had to take off early to the airport, which was out of the National park's grounds. Arriving at the airport in plenty of time, we discovered our flight had been cancelled due to the high winds. The flights had been changed to 9am tomorrow morning, so fingers crossed that the winds die down by then. We decided to have an early lunch at McDonalds (yes, there is a McD's near the Grand Canyon, are you really surprised?!) before returning to the park.

Driving along the Desert View Rd to the Desert View lookout was a beautiful drive, with the canyon appearing out of the trees to the left every now and then, like a magician pulling colourful scarves out of a hat. At the Desert view lookout is the Watchtower, a cylindrical stone tower, built in 1932 and situated right by the rim. Inside, the walls were decorated with colourful Native American artwork, and the circular staircase and ring-shaped ramparts just drew you up the three flights of stairs to the top where your were rewarded by amazing views of the canyon and the tiny Colorado river far below. Later we drove back along the Desert View drive, stopping at different lookout points (some for less time than others, as the wind really was very strong) and admiring the views...and being silently filled with awe...
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