Breathtaking views...and heat!

Trip Start Apr 27, 2009
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Trip End Apr 27, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spent the whole of yesterday travelling - flight from Buffalo to Chicago then a connection to Las Vegas. Picked up my hire car (strange to be on the other side of the counter!) and drove for 5 and a half hours to Tusayan (strange to be on the other side of the road!!), just outside the Grand Canyon National Park then grabbed a microwave pizza and went to bed - exciting day! Only found myself on the wrong side of the road once and managed to correct that pretty sharpish so no harm done, phew!

Got up at 4am this morning to watch the sunrise over the canyon - it's really cold before the sun comes up, definitely should have put a jumper on! The minute the sun cleared the horizon though the heat increased significantly - jumper definitely not required. Was busy watching the sunrise so I missed the bus to the start of the guided hike but given how hot it got at the top I'm glad I didn't venture below the rim where it's generally much hotter.

I walked along the trail at the edge of the canyon, some of the overlooks make it feel like you're standing in midair which was quite cool - took a few pictures sitting on the edge with only 7000ft of air between me and the canyon floor but was very careful when sitting down and standing up again!!

Since I missed the hike I went to a talk given by another park ranger about the Colorado River which was quite interesting, he was very enthusiastic about the different types of rock and their erosion process - actually managed to keep everyone's attention! After walking along the paved sections of the trail I was going to cheat and jump on the free bus to miss out the first section of the unpaved trail (the part that has the most steep climb in it!) but when I arrived at the bus stop everyone else had the same idea so I got some extra exercise - just as well I'd managed to fill my water bottle in advance of the climb! The views from the top were worth the effort though. I made my way to the end of the trail at Hermit's Rest by a combination of walking and the bus - the view there wasn't actually as good as some of the prior stops but it did have a shop with aircon so I could cool down a little which was nice.

After riding the bus back to the village I made my way back to the car. On the way I saw a huge elk hiding from the sun under the shade of some trees, it was huge! Earlier some deer had run across the path in front of me but they were tiny in comparison to the elk, I think I'd have got a bit of a fright if he'd run across the path in front of me!!

The early morning and the heat were starting to tire me out so I decided to drive to Kingman (after a quick stop at McD's) so I could get an early night. It also gave me a good start on my journey to the Skywalk tomorrow so I can have a longer lie in.

The views of the canyon were definitely worth the drive on some of the longest and straightest roads I've ever seen, can't wait to walk on the Skywalk tomorrow!

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