Grand Canyon, Arizona, day one

5 06 2018

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I’d never been to the Grand Canyon. It was way overdue! Since my college and Portland, OR friend Tully Alford moved down to Albuquerque, NM we hatched a plan to visit Grand Canyon National Park as well as meet up with some other old friends in Sedona.

I landed in Albuquerque about Noon, and after a bite we set off to Flagstaff where we’d spend the 1st night. We stayed at the Flagstaff Hostel, in a room on the 2nd floor. I can’t recommend. They forgot to provide towels, and the twin beds didn’t even have top sheets. It’s also noisy, with the all-night-long busy BNSF railway just a block distant. Literally there were 100-car-long freight trains every 10 minutes. It might be cheap, but you pay in loss of rest!

After stuffing down the biggest breakfast burrito I have ever seen, I rode with Tully driving to the Canyon. IMG_0055

Today we’d spend the afternoon on the east side of the South Rim, and then check out the famous Grand Canyon sunset. It was mid-April on a Tuesday – and not terribly busy.

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I’d heard the crowds can be crushing in summer. The road wends its way not far from the canyon rim, with many turn-outs sporting spectacular views.

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A view from the South Rim, the Colorado River cutting through.

Grand Canyon is truly one of the wonders of Planet Earth. The Colorado River runs 277 miles through, and it’s over a mile deep. From the North Rim at 8,255ft to Diamond Creek at 1,500ft, a hike down is a journey covering nearly 2 billion years of geologic history. And on the way down (or up) hikers pass through numerous climate zones, homes to innumerable flora and fauna.  An early morning hike includes icicles clinging to rim flora, then by mid day it can be roasting down below.

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The colors of the rocks, combined with the sky and the spring-green of the trees and bushes made it super vivid.

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We arrived at the Tusayan Museum and Ruin. It’s located right on the rim.

We went back to the village to check out some more information about the park. Then it was time to see sunset fall on the canyon. The canyon is overwhelming during the day, but the sun is at its highest, which can cause colors to seem bleached out. It is at the beginning or end of the day, when the sun is lower, that its colors really pop out.

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The next day we’d take a hike down one of the canyon’s trails and get an up close experience!

 

 

 


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