The Grand Canyon
We were headed to the Grand Canyon in part because we felt it was a must see, and we were in the neighbourhood. The thought of the crowds put us off a little, and because we have seen so many amazing places already we kind of wondered how good could it really be?
We were wrong to doubt. Like most over visited places in the world there is a reason why people flock to this one. It is like no other canyon. Yes, it was full of tourists, all vying for that spot to get their perfect selfie, but we found we could easily loose the crowds by venturing away from the central areas. Actually as a general rule you only have to venture about a mile down any path to be more or less alone in this country.
Our first view of the Canyon was from Desert View where we watched the sun set in dramatic fashion. The old watchtower there was built to look old, and it makes an excellent backdrop for photos. In the early 1900’s a woman named Mary Colter designed and built a few of buildings still present in the park today to blend in with the canyon. One of her quotes that I particularly liked was “do you know how much money it cost to make it look this old?”
You’d be hard pressed to turn up at the Grand Canyon and expect to stay in the camp ground, but surrounding the park gates is National Forest where we were not the only ones to find a quiet place to sleep. Our second day in the Canyon we rode the shuttle to the roads western end at Hermits Rest, stopping along the way at each view point. We did walk much of the trail, and as I mentioned earlier, the crowds thinned dramatically the farther we got from the tour bus stops.
We spent a second very cold night outside the park and work to a coating of fresh snow on the ground and ice on the inside of our windows. It had been a long time since we used the heater in our camper!
We had planned to hike into the Canyon, but first went to the rim to get some photos of the snow. Being my clumsy self I slipped on the icy steps, we took this as a warning and opted for a day of walking the other bits of the rim we had missed and trying out the $2 showers. The Village here has everything that you could want or need, laundry and showers, hotels and restaurants, art galleries and many shops.
For our last sunset at the Grand Canyon Luke had sussed out a perfect spot earlier in the day. The sky and the canyon put on a great show, and we ended our time here on a high, very happy that we had come to see one of America’s great places.