Hey there Campers:
The rain has dropped the temperature down some. We got to Williams, AZ and headed straight for the Grand Canyon. This is a long stretch with hardly anything to see.
Right before get to the park there is the city of Tusayan. It is a cute little town that leads to the South Entrance to the park. The cost to get into the park is about average for a national park. But wait, wait. The Brandy's get in free because we both have that lifetime senior pass. Yahoo is pays to be old!!
We drive to the camping area. Even though the front entrance said the RV park was full We journey there any way. (Tip for travelers - don't take the info at the front gates of any park as gospel. Always go there yourself. There may still be room at the inn.). But no luck they just sold out the last RV spot. Not to worry we always have a plan B. We know where every RV park is in the area. Since it is late we take a quick tour of the park and left to go find our spot.
We drove a few miles before stopping at the Flintstone Campground Park. Yep. Fred, Wilma and Pebbles had a place for us and at a great rate.
We drive to the park. What an awesome place.
Great times in the canyon. Did you know there is a 7 mile trail along the rim. If you have height issues you make want to stay back.
Chip the squirrel did not hesitate to have his picture taken. He was quite bold.
We met a couple and son from Antioch. Their names were Pat, Andre and Jay. It was good to meet people from our area. This is Mather Point. This was named after Stephen Tyng Mather. He laid the foundation of the national park service.
The Colorado River runs through the canyon. Do you see the thin black line across the river? It is a bridge. It is called the Kaibab Suspension Bridge. You can only see it from the Yavapai Point Museum. Hikers and mule riders cross it to reach Phantom Ranch and trails to the North Rim. It is 440 feet long. 20% or 277 miles of the Colorado River winds through the Grand Canyon.
Some of the places one needs not miss in the canyon is Yavapai Point Museum. In the 1920's some of the most eminent scientific minds gathered in the national park to select the best representative view of Grand Canyon geology. They chose the site and conceived the building to showcase one of the world's greatest wonders. Inside the museum there is a layout of all the sites of the canyon.
We continued on Visitor Center. There is a 22 minute movie called A Journey of Wonder. It tells about the Grand Canyon came about and what is presently happening.
We proceeded to the shuttle area. There are 4 free shuttles you can take all over the park. The Purple bus goes outside the park. The Orange bus to Yavapai Geology Museum to Yaki Point. Blue bus Visitors Center to Hermits Rest. Red bus Village Route to Hermits Rest. You know Lo, we hit every route accept the Purple one.
We took the Blue shuttle which took us to Hermits Rest transfer to the Red shuttle. While we were in line awaiting the bus we got to talk to people from different countries and states. When the bus came a group who just walked up tried to jump the line. Oh boy. Several people in front of us was not having it. They very vocal in many languages. I think the almost line jumpers got the message and got in line like the rest of us. Whew! Butt whipping avoided.
The Red shuttle route gives the best looks of canyon.
The stops are:
Grand Canyon Railroad. Have you ever thought about taking a train to the Grand Canyon? You can board it in Williams, AZ.
When we returned from the tour we decided to take a break and have lunch. In the parking lot the park has very nice lunch areas set aside. This so you can pack your own lunch or get something from the cafes and have a chance to rest.
We decided to get our bikes out and go for a ride. Well two things happened. We got my bike out and ready to go. We found out Lo's tire had a blow out. It was because of sitting in the hot sun in the car. (He checked out is bike thoroughly before we left.) No probably there is a bike rental at the visitors center and we can get the tire fixed. Before we can get it out a huge rain came. It barely gave us time to shut the back door. Talk about monsoon season. We decided no bike ride today.
No problem. We just hopped on back on the blue shuttle and went to Bright Angel Lodge area. Facts: The Bright Angel Trail has lush green plants. It marks the Indian Garden. It was once the home of Havasupai Indians. The Bright Angel Fault - a break in the Earth's crust - defines the side canyon, providing passage for animals and people into the inner canyon for centuries. Throughout the Grand Canyon, where you find faults you find American Indian trails, past dwellings and often water. Faults encourage the flow of water to seeps and springs, which native people depended on for drinking water and farming.
Beginning in the late 1800's, pioneers vied to establish a hotel worthy of the view. In 1935, Fred Harvey company succeeded by opening the Bright Angel Lodge complex. The Bright Angel Lodge was designed and built by Mary Colter for Fred Harvey company's. Although ordinary from the outside, the interior hearth is layered with stone collected from the geologic layers found in the canyon. It provided a moderately price accommodations.
We took a class on the California Condor give by one of the Rangers. Facts: Did you know that the shape of the Condors egg stops them from rolling out of the nest? Condors are monogamous and mate for life. (Mmm..... And we though humans were the smart ones.) The wing span of a Condor is 10 feet long and it's body is 4 feet high. (just the size of a 10 year old. Each bird has a number tag on each wing. They also have a little radio receptor so the rangers can know where they are. This had to be done because in the 1900's Condors started to become extinct. Miners used the feathers to clean the dirt away from the gold. Farmers killed them because they thought they had killed there cattle. (Condor's only eat large DEAD animals) Hunters killed them for sport. California set aside land for them to live on. The Audubon Society took them to court so the Condors could "live free" and not be captured to save them. By the time it was finally settled in court there were only 22 Condors left in the world. Sometimes do gooding is really do bading. In this 22 there were only 14 survived. There were 3 types of Condors. All current Condors in the world are from these 14. As to not having a human impression, they feed the Condors with a puppet that looks like a Condor. They also had to learn not to hit power wires. Yep some birds bit the dust .In order to learn this, they stretched wire across the room and put a little electricity in it. Just enough to slightly shock the birds. There never come close again. In 1992 the first Condor was release back to the wild. There currently are 420 Condors surviving as of December 2014.
We ventured on to the El Tovar Hotel was built by the Santa Fe Railway Company. It was named after the Spanish explorer Don Pedro de Tovar who visited the Hopi mess in 1540. This is the site the people staying in the hotel await to. The hotel opened in 1905. It is famous for luxury accommodations, fine dining, shopping and spectacular view from every window. Prior to the hotel, most visitors slept in tent accommodation on the South Rim. The hotel catered to a wealthy clientele. It had a music room, solarium, billiard hall, underground grotto where men played cards, barbershop, two roof gardens, an art room gift shop. For $4.50 and upwards per night, guest were treated to finely decorated rooms with both hot and cold running water. Be assured you are going to pay a lot more than that a night now. (Currently $401 to $489 per night. It still kept the 4!!)
The Hopi House is a National Historic Landmark. It also opened in 1905. The architect was Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter. It was her first ever building. He enlisted the help of local Hopi craftsmen. It was a place where American Indian artisans lived and worked.
Verkamp's Curio Store opened up in 1898. John Verkamp sold out of a small tent on the South Rim. He built a permanent store in 1905. He worked it until his death in 1944. When it closed its doors in 2008 it was the last echo of the canyon's pioneer businesses. It is now a museum. It has a walking history lane.
The Lookout as originally named was designed as a leisurely space for visitors to gaze upon the canyon and purchase souvenir photos and postcards.
Our finally stop for the was the Kolb Studio. Brothers Ellsworth & Emory Kolb arrived at the canyon in 1902. In 1904, they went to work building their home and studio near the head of the Bright Angel Trail. The brothers became famous for their photographs of the canyon visitors on mule rides, and for their explorations of the canyon and the Colorado River.
We hopped back on the blue shuttled to returned to the visitors center. While on the shuttle we see a buck just leisurely eating grass. We also see a woman standing in the road not 20 feet from the buck taking pictures. She is cra cra! Lord delivery me from stupid people.
The plaque on the outside of the lookout says it all about the Grand Canyon. We hope everyone will spend some time there. It really puts God's nature back in our busy lives.
We are happy to see Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam. Did you know the new highway does not take you on top of the Hoover Dam? The old highway was 1 lane in each direction. People stopping to take pictures holding up traffic. I miss the old highway. But at least it is faster to Vegas.
Question of the Day:
How long is the Colorado River?
What year did President Theodore Roosevelt make The Grand Canyon a National Monument?
Please note that historical info came from brochures, rangers and tour guides.
Well, until next time Campers
Lo & Bren