Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Grand, Grand Canyon

Wayne on the South Rim
After a brief stop at Home Depot to buy screws, nuts, and bolts to shore up our duck-taped oil pan cover, we headed for the Grand Canyon. The road took us around the San Francisco Mountains, across the Coconino Plateau and deep into the Kaibab National Forest which is comprised of beautiful ponderosa pine. Our lodgings are in the park at the Yavapai Lodge in the Grand Canyon Village.  We're housed on the second (walk-up) floor in a very nice room. Despite the early season the Park is busy.  We are happy to have found a room inside the park, and able to take advantage of the shuttle bus.  As soon as we deposited our gear, we took the bus to the visitor's center and sought advise on the best course for a single day visit.  Mather's Point is behind the visitor's center.  This is where Wayne got his first view of the canyon from the South Rim.  He was awe struck.  From here and on advice from the ranger, we took the shuttle bus along the 7 mile Hermit Road view points ending at Hermit's Rest.  We walked between some of the stops along a rim path that provided views of the Colorado River.  It would be impossible for me to describe the beauty, the vastness, and the breadth taking experience of the canyon.  Pictures alone cannot do justice either.  In addition to the expansiveness, the colors of the rock layer sequences change with the light and atmosphere.  Because the canyon was incised out of a plateau and is not hidden by mountains and vegetation, one walks suddenly up to the edge and can see the the geology for miles.  The approach to the along the flat ground does not prepare one for the depth and distance of the Canyon.  The canyon floor includes rock nearly 2 billion years old.
The Colorado River
Tonight we drove out of the park to have dinner at the Grand Hotel's steak house.  A funny memory was listening to the family next to us talk about their day of horse riding and touring, then watching them all walk out bow legged and waddling.