We had parked up in a small town called Williams an hour south of the Grand Canyon. This was my first experience of sleeping in a car and I can’t say I felt safe at all. I woke up constantly and even fell asleep on my arm, stopping the blood flow in the process and waking up to see it hanging there completely lifeless.
I was pretty happy to get moving at 0430. Sam wasn’t so much; I’ve never met someone who can sleep with such ease. I eventually got him to wake up and we set off for the Canyon.
The wonder of the world is the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen and that’s pretty much the only way I can put it into words. I’d highly recommend going for sunrise, partly because it’s a beautiful sight, but also because none of the tourist buses have arrived so it’s perfectly silent and deserted.
After an hour or two we headed back to the car to catch up on some sleep. It might seem crazy to be at a place like the Grand Canyon and to go for a nap but we had slept fairly rough and we were finally in a place we could sleep safely. Once we headed back out the weather had cleared up as well so luck was on our side.
We took the free bus over to the west side of the Canyon to see the views from different perspectives. It really was jaw dropping wherever you stood but there were various places that were only visible from certain sections of the walkway. For example, the Colorado River is actually quite hard to see unless you know where to go.
The sunset is best seen from the East side of the Canyon so we decided to head back over to the other side. Once there we had a couple of hours to kill so we ventured on a hike into the Canyon itself. I really can’t understand why but only 2% of Canyon visitors hike down into the Canyon itself. This really is mind boggling considering the scenery when you get down and we only went on a miniscule hike compared to what’s possible in a day.
We considered staying in the Canyon for sunset but eventually decided that we might get stuck down there as the buses stop running a short time after dusk. We made our way back up and found a perfect spot to enjoy the sun going down having climbed through a bunch of barriers so it was just us and the view. Unfortunately this is where my grudge with the Asian tourist was born as a herd of them came clambering through the foliage, screaming and clicking away with their cameras. 50 foot camera tripods appeared out of suitcases and in a flash the moment was gone. As beautiful as the scenery was, it’s just not the same when you’ve got a lens the size of a small child in the way. Why can’t people just shut up and watch?
All in all, the Canyon was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t recommend it highly enough. When I go back I’ll make it a three day trip so I can hike down to the river itself and spend some time in the Canyon. At least then I’ll have some peace and quiet.
I can be such a grumpy old man at times.