Monday, April 15, 2013

Scenery overload

My brain is on scenery overload. Yesterday we drove the 25-mile Desert View Drive, the road that follows the Grand Canyon's south rim from the main Visitors' Center to the park's east entrance.  The road has 15 pull offs where you can park and look.  We stopped at about half of them plus went to the east entrance visitors' center.   

On the way back we took a short detour to Tusayan, AZ, seven miles south of the park, and saw the Grand Canyon IMAX movie.  It was cheesy (it ended with crashing cymbals, an American eagle and a lightening strike) but had gorgeous views and all those makes-you-sick-to-your-stomach shots from low-flying planes and ricocheting river rafts.  

This morning we walked part of the paved trail that hugs the edge of the south canyon rim. Afterwards we were going to have lunch at the Canyon Cafe near the main visitors' center.  Instead we watched TV coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing.  Then I called my kids just to touch base.
Jim at one of our Desert View Drive stops.
Depression-era architect Mary Colter designed the "Watchtower" near the park's east entrance.  She also designed the Painted Desert Inn that so impressed us at the Petrified Forest near Holbrook, AZ.   The first floor of the Watchtower is a gift shop; you reach the other three floors and their views via a spiral stair case. As an aside, in 2008 two self-proclaimed "grammar vigilantes" used permanent marker and a white-out-type product to change a comma and an apostrophe in a sign Colter hand painted.  The grammar cops were banned from public parks for one year and ordered to pay restitution.

Near the Watchtower with our first Grand Canyon view of 
the Colorado River.
This morning we walked on the canyon rim trail. It was 
colder and windier than yesterday; hence the winter coat. 
Jim and Cooper leave the paved trail that runs along the 
canyon's rim to look over the edge.

Another shot taken this morning while walking on the trail that runs along the edge of the south canyon rim
 And yet another view seen this morning.

Our only gripe about the Grand Canyon is our campground, 
Trailer Village.  Camp sites are comprised of  disintegrating 
asphalt, the picnic tables are beat up, and it's just generally 
shabby.  We're hoping the big rigs here help buffer us from 
the high winds expected tomorrow:  65 mph, which is worse 
than it was a few days ago in Gallup, NM, when the wind blew 
sand through our window frames.  

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