Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One at the Grand Canyon

After leaving the Petrified National Forest we began the long drive to the Grand Canyon National Park. We decided to take the scenic route through the East entrance. Unfortunately, our sunset timing was off and we arrived at the park well after dark.

The “Village” is a convoluted area of curving roads and we had a tough time navigating our way to our specific lodging (there are about four different accommodations in the park). But we were able to sniff our way to the Maswik Lodge with the help of Thelma, our trusty Garmin nuvi GPS. Thanks Thelma!

We awoke in the morning to thick fog and heavy on and off drizzle. UGH! We made an executive decision to cancel our trip to Bryce Canyon and stay an extra day at Grand Canyon. Luckily the Lodge was able to accommodate us for another night. Instead of staying in the park, we decided to drive back east, catch a few views of the Canyon, and head up towards Kanab, UT to do some sightseeing and shopping. I only intended to buy a few small gifts, since the trunk of a Mazda Miata matches the size of the car.

What a great decision it was! On the way out the fog and heavy cloud cover made for some breathtaking views – possibly even more breathtaking than the Canyon on a sunny day. Of all the photos we took, we call this one the “money shot”.

Note the rainbow near the center.

We continued up to 89A, the scenic route that would take us through the Marble Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs. We tried very hard to capture another shot enhanced by the inclement weather, but weren’t quite as successful. Remember now, we were only using a point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix (albeit with a Leica lens).


The drive took us over the Navajo Bridge. They really were two bridges – one you drove over and the other for pedestrians. We did the walking bridge twice. Once on the way up and the other on the way down.

Our return visit was prompted by someone telling us Condors sometimes like to perch on the bridge. But not today. But we did get spectacular views overlooking the Colorado River, the river that eventually runs through the Grand Canyon.

We stopped at an area called Cliff Dwellers. It was a bit of a misnomer – there were no cliff dwellings. However, there were enormous boulders,one of which was used as a home for a woman who came to this area and decided to make it her home. There are people and vehicles in this series of photos to give a sense of scale.
This one shows true scale. Look at the man in the lower left area of the photo.

We drove back to the Grand Canyon via the east entrance and caught a few glimpses of the low sun against the Canyon.

During our drive we had seen spectacular scenery and I was able to purchase a few gifts – earrings and a necklace fit nicely into a small compartment in the car. I also made good use of a nuno felted scarf I purchased before the trip.

scarf at grand canyon

Upon our return to the Lodge, we saw a few White-tailed Deer. A lovely end to the day!


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