Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ain't It Grand (June 16-17)

After being in Vegas for a couple of days, we were thankful to be able to retreat to natural surroundings again, this time we were headed for the Grand Canyon. The major view points were at the Western Rim which was the closest to Vegas or the Southern rim which was pretty much the furthest away. We made a decision to go to the South Rim ­­for a couple of reasons…one because we really wanted to see the sunset over the canyon and two because the western rim is on native land and the charges to enter the area were ludicrous!

The 5 hour journey to the western rim was long with lots of nothingness to see yet again, other than Hoover Dam of course. Although not that exciting, it was interesting to see a man-made dam, particularly since it was constructed 70 years ago. We decided not to stop and viewed it from the car instead because we were racing against time to get to the canyon to see the sunset. As we were drawing closer to the canyon, we began to realise that all our ‘racing against time’ may have been in vain because it was looking like we weren’t going to make it in time. We ended up watching the sunset from our car window driving about 20 miles from the Canyon….we were gutted. We had driven all this way and missed the most beautiful sunset over the GRAND CANYON!! We discussed the shoulda, woulda, couldas of getting there earlier for a little while but quickly slapped ourselves out of that state to realise that we were still going to see the incredible Canyon the next day. Despite missing the sunset, we were excited about seeing it in all its daylight glory.

That night we were hoping to get a campsite inside the Canyon National Park, but unfortunately arrived too late to score….so it ended up being a night dossing in a local car park. I could swear the temperature dropped to below zero that night…after it being 35 degrees during the day!! Crazy cold! And of course nature did have to call in the middle of the night! lol

We rose earlier than usual to try and beat the crowds at the Canyon! Our first glimpse of it was nothing short of glorious! Layer upon layer of rock that had been carved out by the Colorado River….incredible to think that such beauty was created by a body of water. Most of the rim didn’t have guardrails and despite it being a little unnerving (at least for me), it was beautiful to see the Canyon in its natural state. The thing about the lack of barriers/rails was that it gave the ‘silly’ people opportunity to venture out onto really narrow ledges towering above an extremely long drop!! Those ‘silly’ people included Tim!! He kept telling me he wanted me to take a photo of him on the end of this particular ledge and all I could say was ‘don’t be stupid….do you want to give me a heart attack!?’ A few minutes later I started wandering off on my own and then heard someone yell ‘Darling….you wanna take a photo of me’? I turned around and my legs instantly turned to jelly. There he was on the end of that bloody ledge! “WHAT ARE YOU DOING…..GET BACK HERE!”…. “Not until you take a photo of me”….cheeky or what!!? That could have been the longest 2 minutes of my life. All I could think about was being asked the question ‘how did your husband die?’….hmmm. So we got the picture and here it is….

We spent the next couple of hours being herded onto shuttle buses with the crowds and visiting the other viewing areas. We took so many pictures, none of which do the Canyon any justice whatsoever. We can completely understand why this one’s included in the 7 Wonders of the Natural World.


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