After we rolled out of Vegas at 6am Saturday morning we were heading East towards Arizona. Retracing some steps I took the very first time I visited the USA though this time I was at the controls and not trying to sleep off any hangovers. The drive was stunning as the sun started rising over the mountains.
We made a pit stop in Kingman AZ for breakfast. Quick stop at the Dunkin for coffee & a bagel and back on the road we go with Heidi at the wheel. Another pit stop in William AZ for a walk, a snack & some beverages & then North towards the Canyon. The road was easy going & our first real road day together on this trip. We were aiming to be in Grand Canyon Village by 1300 at the latest as we had a helicopter flight booked. I had applied for an industry stand by rate for one of the longer flights and it was a deal for $35pp.
We made it into town around 12 so went for a walk, grabbed some lunch & tried to check in but they wouldn’t let us. Not a big deal. We headed off to the airport for our flight. This was Heidi’s 2nd helicopter flight in as many days & she was still super excited. I thin I have created a monster. I am going to say that the best way to get a perspective on just how vast the Canyon is you need to see it from the air. No real commentary from our pilot bug a good flight. I was in the back with Heidi next to me on the window. Didn’t worry me at all, we only paid 1/10th the price others did.
After our flight we headed into the National Park (here’s a tip, purchase your pass at the Imax Theatre, same price, no lines & no wait at the park entrance) and headed for the rim. Originally we were going to head to the rim around the main visitors center for sunset, however there was massive crowds, way over the top. We decided to go East towards Desert View & the sunset point out there, it would be less crowded (it was). The winds were up and the temperature had dropped dramatically. In Vegas it was in the 70s during the day, at the Canyon it was high 30s plus windchill. Ugh. We had an early night with Mexican food & TV in bed.
Woke up the next morning to a snow & ice layer on the ground. A temperature of high 20s was a rude shock. Not something you want to deal with when you are meant to be out hiking. We revised our plans after recovering from a rude awakening by the fire alarms going off at 5am (joy) and decided to just stick to the rim walk for a few kms, mainly for safety & keeping our bodies in one piece.
The Canyon walk was good & worth the hour or so we took to stroll along. At one point we came across an entire flock of Mule Deer, just wandering along as though we didn’t exist. Still
The Canyon is ever as beautiful as I remember it, the colors at sunset were stunning. Although we didn’t come prepared for temperatures at that level (my hands froze solid at one point & I went through considerable pain as they thawed out) we still enjoyed the time we had there. Right now we cruise out of the park headed for Sedona & our most expensive night on this trip, but hopefully the one that is going to be the most relaxing & luxurious.
Current Location: State Route 64 between Tusayan & William AZ
States Visited: 3
Miles Traveled: 777m
Slim Jims Eaten by Heidi: 3