Sept. 25, 2017 Grand Canyon Day 1

It was a chilly 27 degrees this morning.

One train came through early tooting his horn. This dry air is really doing a number on my skin, hair, and nose. They need lots of lotion to keep from scaling up like a lizard. Once we warmed up, we made preparations to spend the day at the Canyon. We packed a lunch and left the campground at 8:20. It is 51 miles to the Grand Canyon from Williams. There wasn’t much traffic this early and we wanted to beat any rush of tourists that there might be. As we neared the Canyon, the temperature on the car thermometer kept rising and by the time we got to the South Rim entrance, it was 51 degrees. It pretty much stayed there all day. I was glad I wore my jeans, comfy hiking boots, and fleece. We arrived a the entrance about 9:15. The line to get in was small and with our Senior National Park Pass it took no time at all.

We took the South Entrance Road to Desert View Drive. We decided to do the east side of the park because we could drive the entire section ourselves. It’s also a less-traveled section of the park with fewer tourists. Both Bob and I have been to the Grand Canyon multiple times before, with and without each other, but neither of us had visited this section of the park before. It was brand new to both of us! We made multiple stops at all the vista viewpoints. At our first stop, Pipe Creek Vista, we met the nicest couple when we asked them to take our picture.

Myron happened to be a photographer, so I lucked out. While we were taking in the views, he took additional pictures of us that he said we would send to me. How nice! We kept running into them at different stops throughout the day. It was a gorgeous day–blue, cloudless sky and a light breeze. The temps weren’t bad either. As we worked our way east, every overlook gave us a more spectacular view.

We could also get better and better views of the Colorado River as it wound its way through the canyon below.

We came upon some hikers at Grandview Pt. who had just returned from 4 days of camping in the canyon. Bob and i walked down the Grandview Trail a short distance to see where it led.

The view was fabulous!

From that vantage point, we could zoom in (I love my camera!) to the river with all its turns and rapids. (My camera has an awesome zoom on it and I zoomed in to get the river pictures. We were actually about 7-10 miles away.)

Bob cringed a little when I walked out onto this rock outcropping for a picture. I didn’t linger there too long.

At our next stop, Moran Pt., we saw 2 rangers using a drone to see areas over the cliff. We were very curious about what they were doing and watched for quite awhile.

This shot of the Hance Rapids actually shows a boat shooting the rapids. If you look really close it’s near the center of the photograph.

The farther east we went, the more of the river we saw. It was awesome!

We could see 5 boats on the river when I zoomed in for this shot.

From Navajo Pt., we got our first glimpse of the Desert View Watchtower.

A short drive further west brought us to the Desert View Tower.

The tower had the most beautiful stone artistry.

 

From the observation deck, we had a great view of the Painted Desert beyond the Canyon.

I had to take a picture of this beautiful rock formation (It reminded me of a giant hoodoo.) and these crazy tourists pushing the limits by climbing out to the edge of the rocks.

This area of the Desert View Watchtower was the busiest with tourists when the tour buses arrived.

We spent quite a lot of time here admiring the work on the tower. Bob watched the man standing in front of him, pick up his dog, and point out the beauty of the Canyon….talking to the dog. It was then that we decided it was time to leave.

On our drive back to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, we saw a group of 25 Corvettes making the drive to the tower. What a great drive that would be!

We saw a ton of rental RVs and tour buses today. We made a quick stop at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to pick up a shuttle bus schedule for tomorrow and then made the drive back to the campground. We had to stop at the hardware store for a part to repair some wires of the Tire Minder System and then went back to the camper. Bob did his repair and Auggie and I took a walk. We relaxed after dinner and made plans for our last day in the Grand Canyon.

 

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