Awesome day at the Grand Canyon

It may have taken many years to get here but we are at the Grand Canyon and it is everything I believed it to be and more.

1st men down the Colorado River 2These were the 1st men to attempt to sail the length of the Colorado. Some gave up halfway but the others finished

We drove the 60 miles from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim entrance to the Grand Canyon and started our tour by going to the National Geographic Centre where we watched a movie in the I-Max theatre on the history of the Canyon and the people who inhabited the area over 4000 years ago. It was very interesting to learn of this as it was completely unknown to ourselves.

Curved plateauA beautiful amphitheatre of rock formations

From there we drove to the Visitors’ Centre where a mother and daughter were giving a talk on the birds of prey in the area. We enjoyed it but once she had been there about an hour the daughter had clearly had enough and kept asking to leave. We then began our walk around the first viewing area and all I can say is, “it is AMAZING!” You just cannot take your eyes off of it! There were about 4 sites, all wheelchair friendly, in this area to stand and admire this absolute beauty of creation but 1 of these was a particularly large area from where people most liked to take photos, especially selfies. It was very annoying to see how many people persisted upon climbing over the safety barrier to stand on a higher rock to pose for photos. One person would be told to get back to the safe side and a few minutes later someone else would do the same. I wondered what would happen if one of them fell. Would their family sue the National Parks Department??

Falconry talkMother and daughter Falconry talk

From there we took a shuttle bus to Lipan Point where we got stunning panoramic views of the Canyon. There was a huge variety of colours, rock formations and striations, depths and sheerness of cliffs. Added to this beauty birds were flying on the thermals and diving down into the Canyon but we never saw any with prey in the claws or beak. To access the view of the Canyon at Lipan Point can be a bit tricky as there are no barriers and the rocks are loose in many places. It did not seem wheelchair friendly here.

2 crows at the canyon2 crows at Lipan Point

We left Lipan Point and continued to the next site but stopped on the way at the remains of an 800-year old Tusayan settlement and Museum. The Tusayan are one of the Puebloan People who originally resided in the Grand Canyon but today their descendants now live in other communities. The Museum was about the Puebloan People as a group and is excellently laid out and informative. It was so interesting to learn that the Tusayan people made full use of all the natural material available for food, clothing, mending and all needs in life.

Tusayan Museum entEntrance to the Tusayan Museum

Tusayan settlement 2Part of the Tusayan Settlement

We drove to the next site, Desert View, which was just as awesome as the others. It was here that we could actually see the Colorado River down at the bottom of the Canyon, probably due to the angle from which we could now see into the depths.

Green and red rock formationaBeautiful colours in the Grand Canyon

Colorado RiverSome beautiful rock formations and the Colorado River at the base of the Canyon

3 specific formations 2Note the 3 formations at the back - from left Cape Royal, Wotan's Throne and Vishnu's Temple

At Desert View there was a tall tower which at first view one would think that it was an ancient building but, in fact, it was constructed by Mary Colter and created it to look ancient by building a concrete and steel inner structure and then covered this with a veneer of local stone. Inside the Tower are a number of wall paintings which, through her research, Ms Colter had learnt that this was what would have been the case in an indigenous people’s tower.

Replica of ancient tower 2Replica of an ancient tower by Mary Colter

Paintings inside tower 2Paintings inside the tower

Time passed and we were treated to a most stunning sunset over the Canyon to end a truly awesome day.

Sunset over the Canyon 5And the sun sets on our day at Grand Canyon

About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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