The next day was the tour, and I'm glad I decided to go on it. The guide, Chad, was incredibly knowledgeable about everything about the area, from the geology and the way it formed to the history of the people who lived and live there, from Native Americans to early miners to present-day residents, and he first ran the Colorado River when he was 16
. He was very entertaining as well, and his stories gave us a great background to the amazing scenery we were viewing. I'm not saying much about the canyon on purpose because you can't really describe it. We went first to the main touristy view-point and Chad had us walk to the edge with our hands covering our eyes and then look all at once, and it was a great way to experience the canyon for the first time. We went to several other viewpoints, ate lunch with our legs dangling over the canyon edge and hiked part of the way down into it. It was a really good day, and well worth the money.
Rather than stick around and keep spending money, I booked a bus to Fort Smith, Arkansas, for the next day to move into the last few days or week or so of my travels (at least this current journey). I was running pretty low on cash, and in fact had more on my credit card than I did in my bank account, or I could either work on the road or head home, and I decided to head home for now, or at least in that general direction.
My bus made it fine to Flagstaff and I set up camp in a local hostel. I decided to try biking again, this time to the Grand Canyon. So I set off the next day at 9 a.m., hoping to do at least 30 of the 80 or so miles that day, maybe more. Two and a half hours later, I had gone 10 and was exhausted. It seems the first bit of the road to the canyon climbs for a bit, and going uphill wore me out since I was not conditioned for cycling. I decided to give it up once more and take advantage of a special tour the hostel offered that was cheaper than the other tours in town because it would have taken me four or five days to get to the canyon. I ended up making it back to town in less than an hour since it was mostly downhill, and it was actually a quite pleasant and enjoyable ride back. I spent the rest of the day just hanging out in town, and I discovered Flagstaff is a pretty cool place.