Desert View Drive and Sunset on the Rim

Trip Start May 21, 2013
Trip End Jun 02, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Thursday, May 30, 2013

We slept in and took our time getting out today.  We l about 11:00.  When we got to the park, we parked at the Visitor's Center and took the Orange Shuttle out to Yaki Point where we had a good view of the Kaibab Trail.  We found a great spot on the Rim and had our lunch.  After lunch we road the Shuttle back to the Visitor's Center and went inside to view the exhibits.  We decided to drive all the way out to Desert View at the east end of the park, 25 miles, and then make stops on the way back.  So we drove out and went to the Watchtower.  At this point the Colorado take a bend to the north and the Little Colorado joins from the east.  We could see the painted desert to the east.  We walked up into the tower for the best view of all.  When we came down we went to a couple of the shops there.

Our next stop was Navaho Point which gave us a great view of the Watchtower.  Then we stopped at Lipan Point which is the shortest distance to the North Rim, 8 miles.  A lot of birds migrate through here as it is a short route and there is forest on both rims.  When Larry and I were here in September of 2000, Hawkwatch International was set up here doing a count of migrating hawks.  We stopped at the Tusayan (two-see-yahn') Museum and Ruin.  After Wupatki, this was not much.  Our next stop was Moral Point for another great view of the canyon.  By this time we were all on "canyon overload."  We stopped at Grand View Point where there had once been a hotel.  It was a really good view. 

We stopped at one more Grand Canyon Vista before heading to Parking Lot D in the Village.  We walked up to the Rim and the Condors were putting on a show.  There were three of them perched below the rim right where I remember seeing them in 2000.  They all have a number on their wings and these were 13, 23, and J7.  At one point there were only 22 California Condors left.  Now there are about 400 but this is still not a viable population.  They lay one egg every other year, so it will take a lot of time for them to come back.  They have the 2nd largest wingspan of any bird, second only to the Andean Condor which we have seen in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Derek, Larry and I took a walk along the rim while Erin waited for a call from her boyfriend John.  We watched the sunset and the changing colors in the canyon as that happens.  It wasn't a great sunset because there were no clouds but just watching the canyon change was beautiful.  When Erin was done talking to John we went to the Arizona Room for supper.  We all had steaks for supper.  Erin, Derek, and I all had filet mignon and Larry had a New York Strip.  It was a nice place with linen table clothes and napkins.  We had a great meal and then walked back to the shuttle stop and caught the shuttle to our car.  We got back about 8:30, not sure what we would do tomorrow as Derek still wasn't feeling great.  We left that decision for tomorrow morning.
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