Grand Canyon - Awesome.

Trip Start Apr 01, 1990
Trip End Aug 21, 2002

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Monday, July 17, 1995

The entrance fee to the Grand Canyon National Park was $10 for a 7 day pass. We happily paid and went looking for a camp site. We had brought a tent all the way from home for the occasion. unfortunately we did not factor in how busy the Grand Canyon was, after being turned away from 4 camp sites we resolved to drive out of the park to get accommodation. This was not so easy either and we ended up at the Seven Mile Lodge at $80 for the night.

We were up early the next day to begin our GC experience, and in our excitement Avan looked the wrong way (happens when you are driving on the wrong side) before pulling out into the oncoming traffic. Luckily the driver of the closest oncoming vehicle was more alert and in a cloud of braking produced smoke managed to avert a serious accident.
Somewhat shaken and sheepish we headed into the park and parked at the visitors centre. From there we walked to the rim, totally awesome, one can not do justice either in words or photo's. We considered taking a donkey ride to the bottom but were looked upon as idiots as they patiently explained one needs to book at least a year prior!. So we headed off on foot down, down, down. After a while we realized the bottom was getting no closer, the top looked miles away, and the people hiking out of the canyon looked close to collapse. Deciding that discretion was heaps better than valour we retraced our steps.

At the top again we discovered that a free shuttle transported tourists to the various West Rim lookouts and one did not need a booking so off we set. Other than the enormity and beauty of the canyon itself we were also intrigued by the greenness (we had both imagined a total desert setting) and wildlife and this was summer. The area is covered in a majestic pine forest and we saw plenty of squirrel, deer and bird life. The other thing that surprised us was how cosmopolitan our fellow tourists were, I believe we must have heard every language on earth, this place must be on everyone's 'must do before I die list'.

Back at the car now about 2pm we decided to leave the park and have lunch on the way where it would be cheaper. As we were leaving the park we spotted a ranger berating some people with his loud hailer who were feeding a stag, under a 'do not feed the animals' sign. By 3.30 we were starting to rue being ikey and not buying lunch at the park when we through all our principals out the window, and got lunch at Mcdonalds in Williams. It was either that or starve!! (apologies to any American burger lovers reading this).

Then it was onto a preserved section of the infamous 'Route 66' from Selignian to Kingman. Route 66 was very much a change from America's amazing highway, more like an Australian highway one lane each way!. Then it was onto route 93 all the way to Vegas.

Footnote: The Grand Canyon is noted as one of The Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is UNESCO World Heritage listed and featured in the book Unforgettable Places to See before you die.
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