The Grand Canyon

Yesterday, at liberty, I went to the Grand Canyon.

With the Cadillac Escalade, the 4 hour drive there was reasonably easy and comfortable, with some decent stuff on the radio and the really excellent satnav (though basically it’s just Up a bit, Left a bit, Up a bit…Fire! on the map).

The scenery changes were beautiful, too, from desert at Phoenix, gradually ascending to rolling plateau-land south of Sedona, then ponderosa pines and volcanoes at Flagstaff, to flat, endless landscapes north of Williams, before more forest at the Canyon itself.

Then, you get to the Rim and words and pictures fail you. Here is the mandatory ‘standing at the edge’ shot, taken by a nice Canadian couple, with whom I then hopped onto the Hermit’s Rest bus. I stayed on all the way until Pima Point, then walked back along the rim, about 6 miles to Powell Point. At times, the path is paved, but at others it becomes unofficial and scarily close to the huge (3,000 ft) drop. Beautiful little birds abound, and to my enormous delight, so do ravens — real, proper, wild, croaking and playing ravens, that hang in the air about 20ft off the rim just having a look and then crarrrking off to points above and beyond.

There are tiny flowers here and there in odd places, and I spotted a bluejay zipping across the scrubby woods. It was quiet walking along, with only the occasional roaring of the wind to disturb the massive silence. Few people, too, as most stick to one spot then move to another on the bus — not many walk.

I succumbed to the bus at the end, as I’d reached the end of my energy, what with the jet lag, long drive and the altitude (about 7,000ft). I had an interesting burrito in the Maswik Lodge, one of the saddest, most decrepit places I’ve ever been in, before a quick but necessary nap in the comfy Escalade, and then the long drive back to Phoenix.

An excellent day.

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