Day 8 - The Grand Canyon - Arizona

Trip Start Oct 13, 2012
Trip End Nov 19, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Saturday, October 20, 2012

I found out today that I have already passed through a couple of polygamist areas during my time in Utah and didn't know it, bummer how fascinating would that have been to see!

But what I missed out on there was more than made up for by today's experience seeing, wait for it ...


Yep that's right, today I saw one of the 7 wonders of the natural world, how amazing!

After Zion I decided to join a tour to see The Grand Canyon as I didn't fancy another difficult solo drive. Once I was finally able to express my terror of Park roads to the chap at the hotel (not terrifying to the locals so they can't quite understand where I'm coming from) he gave me the contact details of a place that did small group 4WD tours to the north rim. Yippee! So I booked in. Then a last minute cancellation made the small group even smaller and it was just me and my very interesting and amusing guide. He appears to be going by the name "unstable tour guide" (true ;) ), I shall call him J.

As he has already posted a comment saying I should steer clear of the Himalayas and stick to flat ground, trying to pretend that I took one of the photos of the river from the very edge is not really going to wash now is it (thanks for giving the game away!). I did however take the rest, and I did get pretty close to the edge as you'll see in one of the other pics. Even with the constant rounds of him: "step up on to this higher rock", me: "no!", him "if you move a bit closer you'll see it better", me: "no!", him: "you really need to learn how to chill out", me ... alright I'll give him that one, I think I did quite well.

Anyway it was all glorious! We went to an area called Toroweap where you can see the Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon (apparently not as easily seen at some of the other locations).

Perhaps some of you may already know this, but I didn't so am including it, it is because of the river that the Grand Canyon exists. It's taken millions of years, but the river has carved its way through, eroding the plateau, and leaving only the harder rocks and creating this beautiful place. It's odd to think that thousands flock to see the absolutely stunning result of erosion, particularly when there's such a great effort put in to preventing erosion these days, perhaps we should just leave well enough alone and let mother nature do what she does best, after all she created this place. Alright, enough soap box preaching.

Another great thing about seeing this particular part is that as it can only be accessed by 4WD there are far less tourists so you can explore the area at your leisure without having to wait for someone to get out of your way so you can take a photo (yah to that).

It is a breathtakingly beautiful place and I'm so glad I got to see it.

I was also very lucky to be able to see another beautiful part of this land as J took me to an area called Nampaweap to see some ancient Indian petroglyths (drawings that have been etched in to the rock). Sadly the interpretation of them has been lost over the years and in many instances it's up to the individual to interpret them how they think fit (not much different to modern art I suppose). However some symbols indicate a specific clan made the etching. You'll see in the pics some spirals etched into the rock, these were from members of the Water Clan.

It was a wonderful day, thank you again J, despite being an "unstable tour guide" it was fun hanging out with you and you make me smile :)
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