Saturday, May 31, 2008

5/31/08 Another Day at the Canyon

I woke up feeling better this morning, not 100%, but better. Good enough to get out of the house today after spending two days indoors. It was even warm enough to wear shorts and T's.....YAY!

We decided we would go look at the canyon again today at some of the overlooks we haven't been to as yet.


I wish pictures were in 3-D so that you could see how truly magnificent the Grand Canyon is.


We got to one overlook and decided that instead of taking the shuttle to the next overlook we would get there by foot.

So we set out and hiked strolled a rugged smoothly paved footpath for 8 miles 1.5 miles. Some beautiful scenery along the way to be sure.


Bob got way too close to the edge for my comfort. NO one has ever survived the 300 foot sheer drop from the canyon ledge.


Here's my dead tree picture for the day....darn you LaVon, I spent more time looking at dead trees today than I did at the canyon.


I did come across this tree and took the picture even though it was alive. Now that's a tree trunk!


I started getting warm and asked Bob how much further he thought we had to go. He told me he'd check it out and let me know.


Some final pictures of the canyon.



This is one trip I am so glad we made!

When we got back to the camp site I noticed how many rental RV's came in. I wonder how many of these renters will become full time RV'ers? It has to start somewhere. All three of these are rental units and there are more on the road behind us and a few further up the hill from where our site is.


We're moving tomorrow, going towards the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. Once again I don't know if we'll have a Internet connection.

Today we should hit 26,000 on the counter. I am truly amazed at fast it is turning.

Will post when we can....just keep checking back.

Friday, May 30, 2008

5/30/08 A Little Under the Weather

We didn't do a thing today as I woke up with a very sore throat and that achy all over feeling. What a time to get sick! We had plans today to see more views of the canyon but that just wasn't going to happen with the way I was feeling.

I started with drinking tea but after about six cups I had had enough of that.

Bob announced he was going to the grocery store to find something to eat since it was evident that this cook wasn't going anywhere near a kitchen tonight. I asked him to pick me up some throat lozenges, cherry flavor thank you very much, because by now my voice was all but gone.

Bob did take a nice walk today just to get out of the house. It was all I could do to drag myself to the bathroom and back. I hate being sick!

So, in a nutshell, that was our day.

5/30/08 Posts are mixed up

I don't know how or why this happened but the last two days of posts are switched in order. If you have already read about the day at the "Hole in the Ground" then scroll down to read Wednesday's post.

I'm hoping this isn't a new glitch with and that it doesn't happen again.

We didn't do a darn thing yesterday. I think with being out in the sun all day the day before, the early hour at which we got up and a few other minor reasons like cool temps and wind kept us inside.

It looks like another thousand is going to roll over on the visitor counter within the next day or two. You know the drill, if its you let me know.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

5/27/08 A Look at the Hole in the Ground

Bonnie and John arrived at our campsite around noon.  That gave us plenty of time for our morning routine and to allow us to get some house straightening up done.  Of course we've only been here one day so how messed up could it get?

We sat outside talking around the picnic table for awhile and decided we should get on our way to go see the Hole in the Ground.

We didn't have to drive as the Grand Canyon National Park has an excellent shuttle system in place.  We walked to the entrance of the campground and waited just a few minutes for the next shuttle to arrive.  There are several places where you can get great views of the canyon and we were determined to see them all.  Again, the shuttle service will take you to each one and when you are finished in that area you just wait for the next shuttle which runs about every 10 minutes.

John and Bonnie had seen the canyon about 10 years ago so it was like seeing it for the first time all over again for them.  I was so excited about seeing the canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  What a wonder it is!

This is the very first picture I took of the canyon.  It was hard to focus the camera with the tears in my eyes.  Look for the green sections on the canyon floor, that's the Colorado River which flows through the canyon.


I stood there with Bonnie and all I could say over and over again, Oh my God, this is so beautiful.  Trust me, the pictures do not do this justice!

I knew it was going to be big,,,,but I had no idea!


The length of the canyon is about 277 miles long measured along the river from Lees Ferry in the east to the Grand Wash Cliffs in the west.  The average width of the canyon is about 10 miles rim to rim.  But, a rim to rim trip from Canyon Village requires a 24 mile hike or more than 200 miles by road.

I really didn't know what to expect when we got here and was surprised by how many lodges/hotels/cabins there are available for rent.  I was even more surprised to see a Chase Bank, a full fledged grocery store, a medical clinic, a dental clinic and to learn that there is a school system in Grand Canyon for the full time residents of the canyon.  I didn't know that people lived here, owned homes and called the Grand Canyon HOME!

There are so many colors to the canyon.  Here is a section that has a green hue to it because of the vegetation.  On the bottom left side of the picture you can see a wooded area, this is Phantom Ranch.  There is a lodge there and cabins for rent.  How do you get there?  By mule of course!   I wouldn't want to be there in the dead of summer as the temperature gets to 120 - 130 degrees down in the canyon.


Here you can see a section of the Colorado River, keep in mind that the river is a mile DOWN from the rim of the canyon.


How does one describe this?


Awesome?  Beautiful?  Magnificent?  Stupendous?  Breathtaking?  They would all be right and none of them  are enough.

Bonnie and John taking it all in.


Every time we changed locations the view changed.



From yet another view point, take note of the change in colors yet again.


I can't wait to see this at sunset!


As we walked to on the viewpoint we came across this little fellow.  Obviously, he is very used to humans and paid us no mind while he had his afternoon snack.


Bonnie and I posing for John.  Take notice that the other people in the picture are in T-shirts.  Yes, we are way overdressed!  It didn't take long for those jackets to come off.


Don't back up Bob!


This picture was taken a couple of miles away from where the first one was taken.  You just have no idea how big this canyon is.


My dead tree picture for the day.



Bonnie hanging on to the tree to get a closer look.



More from the canyon....  click on each picture to enlarge.


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We often remarked to each other today, "What did the pioneers say when saw this when they came west in their covered wagons?"  We thought maybe..."Holy S_ _ _ how are we get across this!"

Although we'll never get enough of looking at this wonder it was time to leave.  We stopped at the Yavapai Lodge for dinner.  It was a cafeteria style place but all of our meals were very good.  Expensive, but good!

On the way back we came across these elk.  Of course this one put his head down just as I snapped the picture.


This one decided to walk away as I trained the camera on him.


So this was our first of several looks of the Grand Canyon that we'll get while we're here.  Sorry Darlene, hole in the ground just doesn't get it!

As I told you earlier we tried all the adjectives we could think of to describe this magnificent work of God and then I remembered a word from my childhood that was to be used when no other word would do.  I think it fits here.  To me the Grand Canyon is definitely SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALDOCIOUS!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

5/28/08 One word......WOW!

A couple of days ago I told you Bob had something very special planned for us . I didn't give any hints as to what it was, but today we did it!

Our day started early.


Yes, that's 4:30 in the morning! It's been a long time since we've been up that early and it damn well better be I hope its a long time before we're up that early again.

Just my luck I woke up with a bad case of bed head and had to wash my hair before we could leave and get on with our adventure.

We got our belongings together and at 5:30 made our way out to the shuttle stop. We took the shuttle to Maswik Lodge to meet up with the others who are going to share our adventure today.


We got here plenty early so Bob had breakfast while I walked through the gift shop and then sat outside when I was done.

Before too long our transportation arrived. This bus was very comfortable and new.


We drove along and I took some pictures along the way. What a nice way to start the day.




The scenery was just unbelievable!




Our destination was Page, Arizona.


Page, Arizona home of Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, was founded in 1957 when the need for a community came to be with the start of the building of the Glen Canyon Dam. The dam was to be the dividing point of the Upper Basin and Lower Basin of the Colorado River.

Because the land was, by treaty, part of the Navajo reservation, the Bureau of Reclamation, working together with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Navajo Tribe, had previously effected a land exchange. The tribe was given land in New Mexico in exchange for the 17 square mile area that would become the site of Page.

As we drove into town, Gigi, our bus driver explained that in Page everything is named dam this and dam that. A picture to explain.


Gigi further explained that in the very center of town are the schools. All next to each other, elementary, middle and high school, all on the same block. Surrounding the schools are churches, one next to the other all around the block of schools. Behind the churches are homes and businesses.

It was on the outskirts of town that Gigi parked and we got off her bus. This was as far as she could go. You see at the Glen Canyon Dam we had to go through a tunnel and because of Homeland Security we had to board a special bus for the two mile trip through it.

We had a little while to wait for our tunnel bus so I had the opportunity to take some pictures of Lake Powell.


And a picture of Glen Canyon Dam.


Look at dead center in the picture below. That is the tunnel we have to go through.


We couldn't take any of our belongings with us for security reasons so we loaded them into this little trailer that dam personnel will get to the other side.


Here we are, getting ready to go through the tunnel.


When we got to the other side we had to don hard hats because of where we had to walk.


Here's me in mine.


You may have guessed by now we are going to float down the Colorado River within the walls of the Glen Canyon. Can you see how clear the water is?


A view of the dam from the canyon floor.


One of the boats already loaded and starting their float.


This is Lauren, she'll be our guide for the day. She's nineteen years old and attends college studying nursing. Today was the first day she took a tour out on her own and she did a bang up job! She's a cutie isn't she?


Everyone settled, we were on our way. Here we saw a small waterfall coming out of the rock. Look dead center.


This water looks inviting but it is a cold forty seven degrees. It never warms up even though the floor of the canyon will get well over a hundred degrees in the summer and never gets any colder, a constant 47 degrees.


The canyon walls are about 700 feet in this picture but they will get much taller.


The scenery was absolutely beautiful.


We floated along very slowly even though our raft had a 135 hp motor on it.

As we floated along Lauren pointed out things to us such as what's in the picture below. Can you see the man made out of rock? Look just below dead center.


This next picture is of Pacman's Ghost. Personally, I don't see it. I only put this in here so that I could show you how big these canyon walls are. The cutout section in the center is 400 feet tall!


We came to a place in the tour where we were getting off the boats. We walked a trail back to a petroglyph panel. On the way there were four very nice, clean bathrooms if we needed them. We soon came to the panel and there was a park ranger there to explain what we were looking at. As best as they can figure the Indians who made them did so about 700 years ago. I can't remember the name of the tribe.



The "W" in the picture above was not something the Indians put there, some jerk tourist decided to add his own handiwork. The large drawing just right of center possibly signifies twins being born.

It also looks like the Indians were drawing big horned sheep in this next picture. (click to enlarge)


Its time to load back onto the rafts.


But not before I snapped this picture of these fisherman. Keep in mind, they had to be brought here by boat.


We were in one section of rafting trip called the "horseshoe". We couldn't tell from where we were sitting but Lauren had a picture taken from the air of the section of the river we were on.




This section of the canyon walls are 1200 feet high.


Bob checking things out.


It's time for lunch.


We knew lunch was included on the float but we had no idea what it was going to be like or if we would get enough. Boy, were we surprised!

We pulled onto a beach where a party barge or pontoon boat was already docked.


We had our choice of bread, lunch meat and cheeses, lettuce, tomato, onion, trays full of sliced carrots and celery, cookies, crackers and drinks. We could have as much as we wanted.


Here's Lauren, our guide, who braved the cold waters of the Colorado.


Close up of the rocks that make up the canyon walls.

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Its time to move out.


When we got back on our raft we talked with this one couple and found out they were from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Meet Bernie and Greg.


Sections of the canyon wall rocks turn black. This is called desert varnish.


Scenery as we floated along.





These rocks signify that there is a fault line under the river.


Back in the late 1800's Mr. Powell, for whom the nearby lake is named, hired a young man to draw maps and pictures of the canyon. He climbed up to the top of the peak, in the center of the picture below, and shot a gun into the river. He didn't hear anything.


These are walls opposite of the peak shown above. They are now known as Echo Peak.


It takes 24 seconds for the sound of gunfire to make its way back to the point of origin.

All too soon, actually five hours later, we pulled into the end of the line for us. Lee's Ferry. Gigi, our bus driver there waiting for us with bus all cooled down with a/c and a big cooler of iced down water.


Our last look of the view as we boarded the bus.


On our way back Gigi asked us if we could see the train car. We could, can you?


Views from the road on the way home.


A look at the Colorado River.....


These pictures were taken through the windows of the bus and aren't the best of quality but I'm posting them anyway to show the canyons that are all over this area. This is known as the Little Colorado Canyon.





When we got back to the park Gigi pulled over in one the overlook lots and let us get off the bus to take some late afternoon light pictures of the Grand Canyon.



So that was our day on the Colorado River as we floated down Glen Canyon. What a day! It could not have been any better and I'm so glad and thankful that Bob made arrangements for this trip of a lifetime.