A Canyon of Grand Proportions

Date: April 5th, 2017

The Grand Canyon

I’ll never forget it. A massive ditch visible from space started just another step beyond where I stood. At first glance it didn’t look real. I’ve seen it in so many posters, books, and photos however I now realized none of them rightfully encapsulated the magnitude of the Grand Canyon.

Mom and I woke up around 6:30 in Flagstaff and drove to Grand Canyon Village. We got there around 8:30, grabbed some breakfast at the local lodge cafeteria and started out adventure along the south rim. We came across people from all over the world. Lots of Asians, some Brits, Germans, Frenchies and I’m sure many others. Most had hiking attire and had been camping out in the park preparing for a trek into or along the canyon. I’ll certainly have to come back another time to explore the Grand Canyon in detail. You would need to spend at least a week there to do it right. Mom and I certainly weren’t prepared for any hiking. We decided to explore the more touristy areas.  There are several stops along the canyon where tourists can venture off along the edge. If you’re up for the challenge you can also attempt to hike 8 miles downward more than 4,000 feet into the canyon on Bright Angel Trail. I’ve been using my legs enough on this trip so I decided to take a rain check on that one. Mom and I took a tour bus out to the first few stops along the canyons rim heading westbound from the village. We ultimately made our way to Hermit’s Rest, the farthest point the bus went, and stopped to explore around for a while. Hermit’s Rest is a structure built in 1914 at the western end of Hermit Road at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It was designed by an architect named Mary Colter, one of the very few architects of her day. She designed many structure along the Grand Canyon and elsewhere, and has certainly left quite a legacy in these parts. After that we made our way back to the village, stopping at a few more views along the way. At one point we saw an elk on the bus but I wasn’t fast enough with the camera to take a picture. I’m sure I’ll see more.

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One of our first views of the Grand Canyon.
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A view of the Colorado River!
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Off in the distance, Humphrey’s Peak is still visible! I passed by this volcanically formed mountain on my way to Flagstaff.
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Snow on the canyon side, not a surprise even for April. It’s impossible to capture the vastness of this canyon. You could see not only far off into the distance, but discrete details all around.
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Mom shot 1!
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Mom shot 2!

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It seemed like a good place for a snooze!
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Finally, a fireplace large enough for mom. This was inside the Hermit’s Rest structure.
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Towards the end of the day we made out way to the eastern side of the park, stopping at the Desert View Watchtower before heading out. The tower is yet another structure designed by Mary Colter, in 1932.
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The interior consisted of 4 stories, all covered in murals done by Fred Kabotie.
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The top of the tower provided a 360 degree view, partially overlooking the canyon and the surrounding desert as well! The Colorado River could be seen flowing into the Canyon from here. The watchtower is located about 20 miles east of the main village area.

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Route 66.

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We were exhausted after a long day exploring the Grand Canyon. Mom found a cool place to stay on Route 66 in Seligman, AZ linking me up with my route not far from Flagstaff. The motel was called “Historic Route 66 Motel,” and it certainly looked that way. We had a classy dinner at The Roadkill Cafe, I enjoyed the “Too Slow Doe” BBQ steak sandwich and mom had the “Tire Track Snack” shrimp. The place was full of mounted elk, massive bucks, cougars, boars, snakes, wolves, and other beasts.

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It was an interesting scene to say the least. We enjoyed our dinner overlooking the “scenic” Route 66 and made our way back to our motel next door shortly after. Tomorrow I head to Kingman, my last stop in Arizona. I’m getting close to the Pacific. It should be mostly downhill from here!

Enjoy The Ride,

-Matt

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