Day 114. Wednesday 21 August. Grand Canyon. Arizona.

We made the decision yesterday to take a day off and explore this astounding natural phenomenon. 

Driving in last afternoon, we are on a sealed road with forest on both sides. Then, like another world appears, glimpsing this spectacular chasm beside us. We both went…WOW!!!

Our camp site is basic but has running water nearby and toilet too. No showers sadly, but for $12 a night we can handle that. It was a joy to have the upper part of the Caranex flap open and with the side windows down and no bugs. The bats flying around last night must have cleaned them all up. 

So, we were up reasonably early, after a fitful sleep and readied ourselves to see this grand canyon. 

The idea was to drive about 25 miles to the Visitor centre, walk a couple of miles then catch a free shuttle bus to the western end of the Canyon. Then work our way back to the parked Landy, viewing point by viewing point. We only got half way as the walking in hot sun and limited ability to carry water, saw us having a bite to eat at 1pm, then working our way back to the vehicle. As it is, we didn’t get back to the camp site till after 6pm. 

Nothing much more to add than the whole thing is mind blowing. We only walked part of the Rim. There are a number of ways you can see the Canyon. Hiking down to the Colorado river 1.6km below. By rafting, or by helicopter. 

When we stopped at the first viewing point this morning there was a heavy smoke presence from a fire we had seen coming towards Cottonwood last night. The wind must have changed to an easterly during the day, because the smoke cleared considerably. 

The main Canyon is approx 8.5 miles(12k’s) wide. You can barely see the Colorado river below winding it’s way from east to west. I wont bore you with other statistics. I had read that a new viewing platform had been built but we saw no sign of it. Perhaps it’s on the northern rim? 

In the early 1900’s copper was mined that was 70% pure, right out of the ground, but haulage to the rim and to market, precluded a successful outcome. Uranium was mined in the early 1960’s but closed down after a short time. The Park Service have spent a considerable sum trying to mitigate the hazards from that activity.  There are Condor’s soaring above us on thermals. It seems every Condor has been tagged and named. The only species of bird anywhere, that is 100% monitored. 

The photos are a sample of our day’s activity. None of them do justice to the spectacle

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