Thursday, September 01, 2011

Three Days in the Grand Canyon, Day 1: The South Rim

The vast majority of people (70 or 80%) who visit the Grand Canyon, visit only the more accessible South Rim, and spend less than half a day there.  We were in the minority. We spent 3 full days in the Grand Canyon, two of which were at the much less visited North Rim.

We loved it. It was the highlight of mine and Terry's trip. Spending a few days there made it sink in. Looking around at all that magnificence, day after day heightened the experience rather than dulling it.

Seeing as how most people either want to or already have visited the Grand Canyon at some point in their lives, I thought I'd share what we did:

We had arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona (a nice little town in the foothills of a mountain) the night before. We used that as home base for our visit to the South Rim. The drive was about an hour and half, and we spent most of the day there. Kyle picked up the Junior Ranger packet, which kept him focused as we walked around.

We were staring down into the canyon and Terry said, "There's the Colorado River," and Kyle was looking for that for his Junior Ranger bingo page. I couldn't see it at first, because I was expecting a bluish color, not brown, but with Terry's help, I found it.  Kyle wasn't having as much luck.  Terry would get down on his level, point it out to him, and then ask, "Do you see it?"

"Yeah," Kyle would answer.

"Show me," I'd say.

"Oh, I don't really see it."

He finally did, but that was another of the recurring gags on the trip.

We listened to a Ranger talk on Geology, which was fairly interesting (she was really excited about Geology), and mostly just walked along the rim. It was nice, but it was really crowded.

We bought lunch at a snack bar and sat down on a nice flat rock right off the path to eat it, until an overly tame, overly fed squirrel kept attacking us! Ugh. Do not feed the wild animals, people (Sadly, as we sat on higher ground, we saw a family encouraging their daughter to hand feed the very dangerously tame squirrel. Will you judge me if I say that I sort of almost hoped that the squirrel would bite the child?).

We drove to another overlook on the way out (The Watchtower, maybe?) that was very crowded. We went to the observation deck, but not all the way to the top.

We probably spent about five hours there, which was plenty. I don't feel like we missed anything.

And we left with the same number of people as we arrived with, which was fortunate given the animal attack and Amanda's risky behavior.

Kyle in the ghost town we stopped in for a drink when we left.


Carrie said...

Love that last picture of Kyle! HA!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Great pictures, and thanks for sharing your experience. I was apparently at the Grand Canyon when I was a preschooler, but have zero memory...and we'd like to visit it as a family someday.

I hear you on the tame squirrels. We ran into the same thing when we visited D.C. And people just keep feeding them...