When the flight was finished we got back on the bike and headed into the park via the nearby South Gate. Once inside we rode as far north as the tourist road would allow (not too far) and started heading east
. Our first stop was at Yavapai Point. The view was amazing. I don't really have words to describe it. Our next stop was by the main visitor centre at Mather Point. There were plenty of people here so we often had to wait to be able to take photos. After watching the information centre movie on the how the Canyon was created and what is currently happening there we got back on the bike and took the Desert View road out towards the East Gate. We made another couple of stops and marvelled at the wonder that is the Grand Canyon. We ended up leaving the park well after 3pm. Even after we left the park boundaries there were fabulous canyon views.
We reached Flagstaff again around 5:30, packed up our gear and moved straight on to Sedona. As we got close to Sedona these beautiful red rock cliffs started to rise up in front of us. We stopped in Sedona for dinner, and enjoyed the gorgeous backdrop that the rocks provided the town with. Phoenix was our final destination for the day so we hopped back on the bike and rode on. The sun went down and we (well I) was able to watch a very pretty sunset. Then the stars came out and they were also lovely to look at. Wayne didn't really get to see any of this as he was focussing on the road, given that we'd done very little driving at night. This was potentially my favourite day of the trip so far.
We had an early appointment today, so we were up and out of motel by 8am. We had an hour and a half ride to get to Grand Canyon where we had a helicopter flight over northern section of southern rim booked for 10:30am. The flight was fantastic. We were concerned that we were going to be lumped with a group of European motorcycling tourists that had arrived at the same time as us, but fortunately we got away before they started lifting off. I was lucky enough to be in the front with the pilot, and Wayne was sitting behind me with a side window all to himself. We shared the helicopter with two German tourists, but they were put together by the other back window. The flight was fantastic, the Canyon is so huge that it's hard to really grasp its magnitude.