Thursday 14 November 2019
Today was always going to be a high light of the trip. We had planned our journey over these three weeks so as to see the formation and history, art and culture of the USA. We had also made sure we were to cross off the list two of the natural wonders of the North American continent – those being Niagara Falls and what we planned to see today – the Grand Canyon.
After setting up the details of the day last night – I was so excited I woke at 5am and we had the best breakfast of the trip so far. What made it special – apart from the fact that it was very tasty and the eggs were real, was the fact that it was served on real crockery! You wouldn’t think that a big deal except for us to say that every meal at a hotel thus far has been on plastic or paper plates.
We go outside and the weather is glorious – hardly a cloud in the sky and the temperate is 17 degrees C and no wind. Our taxi arrives right on 7.15am and the driver is a lovely lady who we take to immediately. Our trip to Williams is a quick 40 minutes on the highway and she drops us at the Grand Canyon Train terminal. We arrange for her to pick us up at the end of the day.
I go inside the ticket office and approach the counter. I say my surname and the tickets are there! Now we are guided to a arena and join with the other train guests for a 15 minute cowboy show – who knows why – but it is funny and entertaining in a twee sort of way. We board the cheap carriage – however – it was a restored 1952 cabin and had lovely bench seats that were comfortable. Our attendant is Jeff who has a quick dry sense of humour but tells the worst daddy jokes. The trip up to the Grand Canyon is 2.15 hours and it passes easily enough. We are entertained by a guitar player who sings some cowboy songs for twenty minutes or so – I’m starting to pick up a theme here. One of the things we see along the way is the north pole – a whole display set up for the other train journey this company does – the Polar Express!
Once at the top – we are told we have 3 1/2 hours and must be back on board no later than 2.30pm! We go to the rim of the canyon and wow – I am gob smacked – if you haven’t been here and have the chance to come – COME. It is absolutely positively spectacular! No words or even my poor pictures can come close to capturing the beauty and wonder and grandeur of this feature of the natural world.
After taking it all in and having lunch in a cafe and visiting the gift shop – we all board a the correct time and make our way back down to Williams. Remember those cowboys from the mornings show – well now – they stop the train and hold it up! It’s all fun and games and the kids among us enjoy it.
We arrive back at Williams at 4.45pm. We see a lot of adults and kids dressed up in pj’s ready for the Polar Express. Not being tempted to do this train journey we find our taxi driver and are back in the hotel by 6pm. We have dinner next door at a nice restaurant and even find the time to finish the blog and do laundry. It has been one great perfect day. FANTASTIC.
The following are just some of my poor attempts to capture the beauty of the Grand Canyon
One shot from our trip back down – this feature is called the Red Butt – represents an Indian fist arising from the ground: