The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is the second most visited national park in the US, just behind the Great Smoky Mountains. The GC gets 5 million visitors a year, while the Great Smoky Mountains gets 10 million.
As you would imagine, there is no way to fully describe what you’re looking at, and what you’re looking at is only a fraction of the entire canyon. Pictures do not do it justice. You’re compelled to take pictures, like everyone else. You cannot stop yourself, but the full experience is more than what a camera can capture.
We left ABQ around 10 AM CT, and arrived at the Grand Canyon National Park at 5:30 PM MT. It was about a 400 mile trip. We took our normal pace, which meant a lot of pit stops along the way.
The topography heading west, out of ABQ, was flat, dirty, and spotted with all kinds of vegetation. It also looked desperate. The desperate parts were all the mobile homes, small “Home Depot” out-buildings, that were used as homes, and the small hut-type structures.
There was also a lot of marketing of the Indian: pottery, clothes, moccasins, and trinkets. Every place that sold anything was pushing Indian paraphernalia.
Minona, Sedona, & Flagstaff, Arizona
There was also a discernible difference in Arizona from New Mexico. It was not long after we crossed into Arizona, that the terrain and quality of life seemed to be better. By the time we arrived in Flagstaff, it was not a lot different from home with all the pine trees and hills.
After we cleared out the van and settled everything into our lodge, we went hiking. We could not resist. The big hole was calling us.
You could hike all the way to the bottom. I suspect we hiked about a mile one way and back. The going down part was a breeze; the coming back part was a bit more arduous.
There was this one sign that suggested you not try to hike to the river and back to the rim in one day. It said some have died trying. There was this one guy sprawled out on a rock. He was making his way back up, but was stopped with leg cramps.
Everyone will sleep well tonight. Four-hundred miles and a one mile hike is about right for a good night’s rest.