Thursday, August 18, 2011

Roadtrip Part 4: The Grand Canyon

Aaah, the Grand Canyon. The initial inspiration for our entire roadtrip. I think there's a very good chance we were completely spoiled by Bryce and Zion because while the sight was (of course) very beautiful, it (for me personally) lacked that complete awe-striking amazement of the previous places. Maybe it's just a little too grand, or a bit too much for a person to take in in one gulp.

Before our Zion diversion, the plan had been to spend a night on the (much less visited) North Rim of the canyon before coming here to the uber-popular South Rim. The south rim tourist area is literally like a small city with a proportionate number of people and cars around, so I'll be excited to see a less congested version of the Grand Canyon some other time. We were back to camping on this leg of the trip, so after setting up at Mather campground, we walked the half mile or so to the rim of the canyon and spent a couple of hours walking along it, taking in the views.

Like Zion, the Grand Canyon also has a mandatory shuttle system to get visitors out to all the popular viewpoints. However, UNlike in Zion, we found the shuttles here to be extremely annoying and not at all convenient. They were too infrequent, and when they did come, they were always full to the brim and usually could only pick up a couple people out of the dozen or so waiting at each pick-up. You could easily get stuck waiting for an hour or more at each stop along the route. Redonkulous. Walking the 1-2 miles between each point was much faster, and definitely more enjoyable (even in the heat).

We didn't have the time, preparation, or even really the desire on this particular trip to hike down into the canyon, so we spent our time making our way along the rim, basically checking out different angles of the single massive vista. Along the way, Kib and I had moments of quiet contemplation...

... while Stanley preferred to see how many times she could stand "on the edge of glory." And sing about it. And get Lady GaGa stuck in our heads for the entire trip. :P

On the morning we left, Kib and I got up at 4am and made our way out to Hopi Point to watch the sun rise over the canyon. That was the most memorable thing about our time here for me. It was quiet, serene, and super special.

So glad I finally got to see this natural wonder! It might not have been the ultimate highlight of the trip, but it was wonderful nonetheless!


Michelle said...

Great pictures and another site to check off your list!

Patty said...

Wow, it's amazing. I am so glad you got to see this, it's definitely on my list also!

Edge of Glory. Haha!