Day 30: Canyon Sch-manyon

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
Trip End Jul 29, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Route: From West to East on the South Rim
Kilometres: 8km by foot (yes, more blisters ensued)

Today we took advantage of the free shuttles that run throughout the park, and rested the car at the campground. We realised that we were truly hitting a serious tourist destination when we made our first stop the Visitor Centre, and were absolutely surrounded by every walk of life, and then it took about 3 busloads before we could get back on one to our next stop! Guess that's what we get for spending that couple days in fairly quiet areas again... alas, but it’s what we expected.

We took the bus back to the Western side of the rim, and had an early lunch at the El Tovar hotel (which was surprisingly reasonable and also very fancy! The ranger at the visitor centre had recommended it on the basis of their good coffee and she was right). Lucky for us those 20% thundershowers hit while we were enjoying our meal! After the rains finished, we took the Rim Walk through the middle section of the South Rim, and it was fantastic. Around every turn were slight differences, and it was interesting to learn more about how the canyon was actually formed and just how ridiculously old it all is! (plus all the cool rocks that are within it of course) It was also really interesting to people watch along the walk – there was quite the variety of tourist wandering about!

After about 3ish km walking along the rim, we took a bit of a break from the heat and made our way back to the Marketplace. We figured to pick up some food we could take to a vantage point to catch the sunset later! Of course we also had to get Cam a "Grand Canyon Junior Ranger" badge – he was gutted that they actually screen for people wanting to sign up for the program (ie., that they are actually a kid), so he thought he’d bypass the system and just buy the badge ;) With our goodies, and after a couple bus waits again later, we made our way to the western most point of the South Rim at Hermit’s Rest, and started walking our way east again along a quieter section of the Rim Trail. It was really nice for the first couple kms, but then it moved quite inland, and we would’ve had to basically run the last 5km of it in the heat, so we decided to jump back on the shuttle to Powell Point – a neat lookout where we caught the sunset. This point was neat because you could quite far both East and West into the canyon. Unfortunately there were still a couple lingering clouds that cut into the sunset, but overall it was quite cool to watch the changing colours within the canyon.

Nearing darkness, we jumped back onto one of the last shuttle buses and headed back to the campground. We weren’t that hungry watching the sunset, so we took our tortillas & cheese and cooked up some yummy quesadillas by flashlight back at camp and climbed back into the dry tent (yes, it had managed more than find during the day’s thunderstorms!). After walking 8km in the heat today, needless to say we slept well!
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