Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grand Canyon, Arizona (April 16, 2012- April 19,2012)

We arrived at the Grand Canyon Camper Village in Tusayan, Arizona a bit after noon and began our setup.  We had been stationary at our daughter's house for nearly three weeks and several things needed to be done to get us back into the traveling mode.

Once we finished our maintenance we walked around the  small town and made our plans for the next several days. The RV park is located across from the National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitor Center/IMAX Theater. We decided to make this our first stop.  The center is very comprehensive and the Imax movie was just what we needed to prepare us for the visit to this geological wonder.

The Grand Canyon.  One of the USA's most visited National Parks and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.  We have flown over this massive canyon quite a few times with several of the flights at very low altitudes.  From a plane the view is awesome, but nothing can prepare you when you first see it close up in person. We entered the park through the park's south entrance and arrived at the park's visitor center a few minutes later. The parking lot was packed, but luckily we got a spot close to the rim trail. Me and my concern of heights had me a bit nervous and I made sure Guinness' and Rosco's leashes and harness were very secure before starting on the trail.

Once on the trail it took several minutes to get to a viewing area where you could see the canyon.  We turned a corner and there it was. We were awestruck.

The trail follows the south rim of the canyon for quite a ways.  It is paved and much of it has railing.  There are several large viewing areas and the sight from these are fantastic. (Click on the pictures for a larger view)

We spent several hours walking along the trails, taking pictures and just looking. After a while the boys, and us, were getting tired so we headed back to the truck.  From here we drove eastward along East Rim Drive to the Desert View/East Entrance where we turned around and back tracked for a while.  We then turned off onto a Forest Fire Road (dirt) and drove through the mountains and forest for about an hour before arriving back at our RV park. What a beautiful area. So different than just 100 miles south. Tomorrow we will do a sunrise viewing/photo session.  This is supposed to be another popular time at this park.  We'll see.

Here are some more pictures of the canyon taken on this day.

The next day, April 18th, we were up and out early, about 5 AM MST.  When we arrived at the canyon parking lot there were already a lot of cars to include several buses.  We hurried to claim a spot on one of the better viewing areas.  I was able to settle into a top row seat in an amphitheater that provided me a great view of the canyon.  The scheduled sunrise was at 5:50 AM MST, but we started taking pictures before it came up. All I can say is that during the next 30 minutes hardly anyone uttered a sound.  The temperature was just below freezing, but not one complaint. It was absolutely breathtaking.

After the sun was up we figured there could be nothing else today that would be able to top that experience.  We then drove around the Village and found there are many places to stay here to include several RV parks.  There were herds of elk and deer all over the place and these would cause traffic to stop creating an early morning traffic jam.

Since we had been gone for several hours we headed back to the RV to spend the rest of the day with the boys and prepare for our move to Flagstaff, Arizona in the morning. Our short time here at the Grand Canyon was more than full-filling.  This place, we are sure, will be near the top of our list of the best places we have been to on our journey across the country.

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