Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Grand Canyon

THE Grand Canyon has been on my "bucket list" for years. We had originally planned to spend a week here but other issues arose and we could only stay here 2 nights. I had the thought of not taking any photographs at all in the Grand Canyon. It was sacred. It had been photographed by masters including Ansel Adams. The great photographers had used large format cameras, had hiked in to the great viewpoints, had come when there was snow on the ground, or when lightening was expected, or when a rainbow was in the sky. How could I with my small digital camera on a single 6 hour visit do any justice to the Canyon. Well I was right. I was very disappointed with my photos. They seemed so washed out compared to the real thing. I took a hundred or so pictures and only a few were worthy of inclusion here. I include them just as documentation. I was here.

We left Marina & Monterey California Sunday morning, October 7, 2012. California has great north and south roads but few that go east and west. We were on small farm roads much of the journey. We stopped for the night at Indian Hill RV Park and Ranch in Tehapachi CA. The campground was about 7 miles off the main road so once we got there we stayed. It was more than adequate for a night. The next day we headed across the Mohjave Desert to Kingman AZ.

Southern California Mojave Desert

Yet another NO DOGS sign this time at a California rest stop.
Do they think Rosie will ruin their stones?

We stayed at this RV park in Kingman, AZ. Very nice.

Williams, AZ is a gateway town for the Grand Canyon. It is 50 miles to the South Rim entrance. Life in Williams seems to revove around the Grand Canyon and the old Route 66. Williams was the last town to be bypassed off Route 66 by Interstate 40.

We had a great steak and juicy tender smoked back ribs at Cruiser's Cafe 66

The original Route 66 ran through Williams, AZ

Even the Men's room is decorated in car stuff

Debbie made a quick friend here.

No Pepsi here

Rosie rests on "her" bed in Diva wearing her new outfit from a Carmel California Dog Botique.

At the KOA campground in Williams, AZ. This was our first time in a KOA and I must say it was very pleasant.

Williams, Arizona is about 50 miles from the entrance to the park. We had several choices for our one day visit there. We could drive the truck there. We would have had to figure everything on our own. Where to park. What sites to see. What was that valley. We decided to take a guided van tour with Angel's Gate tours. The Angel's Gate refers to a formation deep in the canyon. It cost $108 each and was well worth the money. It picked us up at the campground. There were 12 guests in the van. Two from Great Britain, 2 from Australia, 2 from New Zealand, 2 from Maryland, 2 from Ohio, and us 2 from South Carolina. We all had a good time especially comparing how we said things and what we called things. We made 7 stops at different viewpoints. The guide, Gary, was terrific. He spent the whole season guiding either with Angel's Gate or guiding hikers. He had hiked every path and gone down every stream and river in the Park. He pointed out the history, geology, the archeology, the biology, and the everything-else-ology of the Grand Canyon. He set out a great picnic lunch of sandwiches, fruit, cheese & crackers, and a variety of drinks. The tour lasted 7 hours from the time he picked us up until he dropped us off. Well worth the money!

We were lucky to be here on this day. sunny, 70 F, light clouds.
The next day it was cold and rainy.

I felt a little dizzy every time I stepped near the edge of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

This is the "Duck-on-a Rock" formation.

Huge deposits of copper were (and still are) found on the canyon floor. The ore was 70% pure copper.
Most mines today are less than 20% copper. The workers had to bring the ore up the canyon via donkeys.

This guy from New Zealand was on our tour. He liked to climb out on ledges for his pictures.
I told him I took this picture for "forensic" evidence if needed.

We used this guide service to see the Canyon. The driver was fabulous.
No way we could have seen half as much as we did on our own.

The Hopi Indians showed the Spanish the Canyon. When the Spaniards asked them where the gold was the Hopi told them it was to the north and east. The California Gold Rush had to wait another 300 years.

The South Rim has a dozen or so view points easily accessible from the road.

The Tower at Desert View offers even a higher viewpoint to see the Canyon.

Wall paintings in the Tower

Looking up the tower

A view from the Tower

I like to play around with Photoshop. So from time to time I will post on this blog some of my musings. Here is my take on Pete's Gas Station Museum.

Pete's Gas Station Museum in Williams.

We left Williams on Thursday October 11, 2012. We have almost 2000 miles to get home and will try to do that in 5 or 6 days. So we will be just staying one night in places that are convenient to I-40. So far we have stayed in Grants, New Mexico, Amarillo Texas and are tonight in Henrietta, Oklahoma. Today was the first time on this entire trip, going back to July 1, that we have had seriously bad weather. There was pouring rain and lightening in Oklahoma City and we are waiting out a thunderstorm and tornado warnings in Henrietta. We hope to be home to family and friends by Wednesday October 17.



  1. Oooh, I'm going to miss reading your blog, stunning photos and of course Rosie comments! I hope to "read" from you again soon and safe travels home!

  2. I know what you mean about photos of the Grand Canyon. I had a similar experience. Seems like only a privileged few artisans can truly transfer the grandeur to a print. It's just bigger than all of us.


  3. Thank you Sugarfoot and Gris,
    We made it home safely and there will be at least one more post coming soon.
    Diva is at the RV doctors place now (Out of Doos Martin Colfax, NC, one of the premier Airstream dealers in America) for some minor surgery and a thorough checkup.
    We plan to go to Florida in January with Diva.
    In February we plan to go skiing in Colorado and Idaho but Diva (and Rosie) will have to stay in North Carolina.
    Then sometime in April or May we plan another long adventure, this time to the Northeast, New England and the Maritime Provences of Canada.