Arrived at the South Rim around 11am, showed our pass at the entrance station and headed into the park. Our first stop was at Desert View, where you get your first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. After stopping and staring for a while we continued our drive along the scenic road towards Grand Canyon Village. We made a few stops along the way at various view points, all so beautiful. After stopping at a view point for lunch we at last made it to the village around 2pm. First stop here was at the Visitor Centre to pick up information on walks, etc. We also discovered that they had a courtesy phone that you could use to reserve space at the local campsites, restaurants and mule tours. We took this oppotunity to book ourselves a helicopter flight over the canyon for tomorrow morning. Dean has never been in a helicopter so has been looking forward to this part of the trip for a while now. Flight booked we parked Brian in the middle of the village, (in a car park of course!), hopped on the free shuttle buses and headed to some more view points
. We decided to stay for sunset and found a nice place at Hopi Point, a popular choice. After the sun went down we returned to Brian and headed out of the village to Tusayan, just a few miles south,, to find a cheaper campsite. Regisitered and plugged in we headed to the coin-operated showers. Started slotting in the quarters only to find that almost after a dollars worth only 1 minute had registered and the water was stone cold too! We decided not to waste any more coins and will use the showers in the village tomorrow. Hopefully, they will be better but in the meantime, we will have to have words with the management in the morning to get our quarters back! No hot shower, but we had a lovely hot dinner instead and after getting up to date on the pod, etc., we watched half a downloaded episode of Desperate Housewives, (it took forever to load and we were too cold and tired to wait), and got ready for bed. This time we were prepared. We're using sleeping bags tonight as it has been predicted to get as low as -7 tonight. Yippee!!
Woke up lovely and warm in our sleeping bags this morning and got up a little excited. This morning we have a helicopter flight booked. After breakfast, we headed to the office to let them know about the shower issue and get our refund
. Then we thought we'd walk to the airport as it was only up the road. Half way there we realised there was going to be no pavement/sidewalk and as there were also road works blocking the verge, we thought better of it and drove. We arrived just before 9am, weighed in and then watched a safety video. Once the video was finished we headed over to where we would be given our seat numbers and personal floatation devices of pfd's. We then waited to be escorted to our helicopter. When we shown out, Dean & had a nice surprise waiting for us. We'd been up graded to the more expensive helicopter, (same number of seats but all faced forward instead of a couple facing backwards), and we'd been given the two front seats. Yeah! Dean couldn't stop smiling and he was still smiling half an hour later when we landed. The flight was so cool, as we actually flew into the Grand Canyon and apparently we were 1 mile above the Colorado River which flows at the bottom of the canyon. Once back on terra firma, we returned to the campsite, plugged back in and headed for the showers. While showering, we tried to download the episode of Desperate Housewives that we couldn't finish last night. Unfortunately, it didn't load properly again. Never mind we'll watch it some time. All fresh and relaxed, we left the campsite around 12.30pm and headed back into Grand Canyon Village, where we parked at the Visitor Centre and walked to Mather Point for another view of this amazing geological feature. We then caught the shuttle out to Yaki Point and after a bit of walking around and a few more photos later, we caught the shuttle back to the Visitor Centre and on to Yavapai Geology Museum. Here we managed to catch a Ranger Program which was a walk along the rim while the ranger told us how & why the Grand Canyon was formed. It lasted about an hour and was extremely interesting. We then caught the shuttle back to pick up Brian and leave the canyon.