Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Chillin' in The Grand Canyon

We were lucky enough to have the nasty rain stop for the first portion of our drive from Apache Junction to the Grand Canyon. The trip would be a little over four hours long. Our luck didn't last for too long. Halfway into the drive we encountered rain and then snow. We arrived just as the last bit of any light was still available. Seeing the Canyon would have to wait until the next day.

We stayed at El Tovar, a historic hotel built on the edge of the south rim of the canyon. The hotel had no elevator and rooms were really small, but it's understandable for a lodge built in 1905. The lodge's small lounge was the perfect place for us to decompress from a lot of driving and running a marathon for two of us.

The six of us met up at 6:30am the next morning for a sunrise view. The temperature was around 25-30 degrees. It didn't feel so bad at first but it sure hit us after ten minutes. Dave remembered that he had hand warmers in his jacket pocket as we came back into the building. There was a bit of an overcast this morning so the sunrise was not spectacular, but it was still enjoyable watching the light change the colors in the canyon.

After a fantastic breakfast at El Tovar's main restaurant we headed out for the day. Leaving Grand Canyon Village we made our way to the visitor center. After watching a movie and presentation we talked to the rangers to formulate a plan. We opted not to go on a hike into the canyon because the trail was very muddy from the rain and snow the day before. Instead, we drove to the various lookout points along the south rim as far as Desert View. This occupied our day until we lost our tourist steam around 4:00. Fortunately the sun came out for part of the day.

After some much-needed snacks and drinks we headed out for sunset. More clouds so not the best viewing but we found a nice place to watch away from other folks. After sunset we had a great meal at El Tovar's restaurant. The food at El Tovar is really very good. After a long day we turned in early because we had another sunrise in our future.

For today's sunrise we headed over to the point by the visitor's center, along with everyone else. The clouds were still around but we did get a few minutes of sun bursting pink through the clouds.

We create a quick video of our first sunrise and sunset:

Once the glory of the moment was over we got into our cars and drove to McDonald's for to-go breakfasts. Our next activity was in 3 hrs - a jeep tour of Sedona, which was two hours away.


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