Finally we made it to the GRAND CANYON !! and boy the name certainly fits well !!
We were picked up by our guide Jason from All Star Grand Canyon Tours at about 8:30 and we headed towards the canyon, Jason was a very imformative guide and seemed to know a lot about the area, even though he was a recent transplant from Colorado.
Our first stop was a neat little tourist shop along the highway that sold mainly Indian and Local Art from the region, we picked up a few knick knacks and had a nice conversation with the owners and were on our way again.
Soon we were approaching the canyon even though we couldn't see it, Jason told us it was only about 30 feet beside the roadway. Humpf !!! some Grand Canyon we thought, if you can't even see it from the road as your driving along side it.
Well those thoughts were soon put to rest permanently when we got out at the first viewing stop. HOLY COW !!!! is the only polite way to really express it (and for those that know me you can imagine what I actually said ) ha ha ha ;)
Sheer awe and beauty is the only way to describe it, the size is just amazing, the narrowest spot is 4 miles wide and the widest 18 miles !! WOW ! the trees at the bottom were just dots, but in actuality they were hundreds of feet high.
The Grand Canyon is actually the third largest Canyon in the world, but because of it's location it's the best for viewing, the other two are in tropical countries where the vegetation completely covers the canyon and you cannot make it out because of the plant life.
The dry desert conditions allow for people to see the canyon and all its wonderous power and history, one spot actually shows the build up of soil that has taken over 2 BILLION YEARS (that's million with a B ! ), that's almost half of the estimated age of the planet.
Go through some of the photos posted and see for yourself the massive gaping hole in the ground that is one of the seven wonders of the natural world.
The winter brings snow and ice and there are actually 5 people that live in the canyon bottom for the winter months cut off from everything and everyone, except for the snowmobilers that bring food and supplies.
The common belief that Helicopters have a hard time getting out of the canyon because of the lack of air to push off of is totally false. Because of the fact that helicopters are not allowed below the rim at all, none, period !!
The same goes for base jumping, paragliding, motorized vehicles, (except for boats in the river) mountain climbing, parachuting and aircraft of any kind.
Jason took us to a lot of very good viewing points and had information on everything, he seemed to be an avid hiker and had actually hiked almost the entire way down the day before (within 2 miles of the bottom... does that give you some perspective ?! ), and he was still quite sore from the hike back up.
Winters for him are spent teaching snowboarding and summers guiding the canyon, sounds like a pretty tough life huh ?!
A stop for lunch brought a really unexpected surprise, silverware, porcelain dishes, tablecloths and fabric napkins, as well as a full meal that was catered in.
After lunch we hit the last view point, a huge look out tower that was built by a local architect with the HOPI indian tribes's input on design and artwork. The view from the top of that tower was absolutely amazing, of course being so much higher than the rim itself allows for a much farther view of the canyon and again all I can say AMAZING !!
If ever the opportunity comes that you can visit the Canyon do not waste it, one good note though, visit the SOUTH SIDE that's where we were and it was obvious that the views were better here than the other side (which is nearly 1000 feet higher) because you are looking up at the cliffs across the canyon instead of looking down from the other side.
The ride home (or back to the campsite) was much quieter as everyone was really exhausted (and most were asleep) from not only the hiking but also the heat.
Back at camp we bid goodbye to Jason and thanked him for a very informative and fun tour.
Dinner and really tired we hit the sack for an early morning departure to Cedar City Utah and our next adventure !!