June 1, 2011 – We spent all day on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I know I will never forget that overwhelming feeling of awe when we first came in sight of the canyon. It is so large, so deep, and so beautiful that it simply takes your breath away. It was a similar feeling to the first time I stood in the door of an airplane getting ready to jump – pretty much defies description, unless you’ve been there.
We found a nice fellow who was taking pictures with his Canon Rebel on a tripod and he kindly agreed to take the above picture of Linda & Ric together with our camera. We passed that kindness on several times throughout the day with different couples and family groups. It’s always a much appreciated (and easy!) thing to do for folks.
The wild life ranged from the ambassadorial squirrel – certainly a chubby fellow and a truly accommodating poser with no fear of being on the edge, trusting in the camera operator to get the correct depth of field and hopefully give him a goodie for a tip. He was sorely disappointed as we had his health as our primary concern and he sure looks like he would benefit from a diet. We also saw a group of elk crossing and got one quick snap shot. It was a little like Yellowstone with cars swerving to the side of the road to get pictures of critters (us included!). The only Mountain Lion we saw was an excellent job of taxidermy in the visitor’s center – it had been hit by a speeding motorist not far from the sign pictured above.
One of the fascinating educational elements within the park was the “Trail of Time”. It involved using the Rim trail to bring home the enormous amount of time involved in creating the Canyon. As Linda studied the layers upon layers of sedimentation, under foot the Trail had emblems representing the passing eons as we walked on. At appropriate intervals elements of stone, such as the 750 million year old Awatubi Limestone were displayed beside the trail, as well as informative signs describing the geological events that created this incredible place.
After several miles of Rim walk we had lunch at the Canyon Village Deli – a bit pricey but very tasty. We then chased down a Geocache within the Canyon campground, using the GPS built into Linda’s phone. We had to walk about half a mile to locate it and it took a lot of searching but find it we did! We didn’t take anything from it, but left a quarter and one of the small pieces of petrified wood that we had found in Woodruff Arizona a day or two before. We then walked the three miles or so back to the car at the visitors center.
Near the end of the day, we drove out to a place called “Desert View Watchtower” pictured here from Navajo point – just to the west. The Tower along with several other structures within and around the Canyon (including Hopi House, Bright Angel Lodge, Hermits Rest, Lookout Studio, and at the bottom of the Canyon Phantom Ranch) was designed by Architect Mary Colter. It is said that she chose each of the rocks used in the construction to match each other and blend with the surroundings. The art is just one example of many fine renderings within the structure. A spiral staircase takes you to the windows at the top which is the spot where the largest amount of Canyon can be viewed.
A word of caution the cost of gas, food and other necessities is quite high – so if visiting, plan accordingly! To us it was really worth it!