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Days 5, 6 & 7 - The GRAND Canyon

Oh my God...

sunny 29 °C

Leaving California with a sea mist coming in off the Pacific again, we headed back down Highway 1 towards Los Angeles before heading across the top of LA towards Arizona and the Grand Canyon. Only thing is.... its over 760 miles away...

We decided (foolishly) to bash out most of it on Day 5, have a doss day on Day 6, then the 'short' hop to the Grand Canyon on Day 7.

Day 5 turned out to be a 600 mile trek in 90 odd degree heat across the Mojave desert heading for the campsite in Arizona. The BEAST was its usual self, waddling its way up the hills (and there were plenty of them) then hurtling down them trying its best to wipe us out!!

After that stressful day, we decided that Day 6 would be a 'doss day'. I managed about 1/2 hour by the pool whereas 'golden girl' Siobhan was like a well done piece of toast after all day by the pool... Instead I decided that some route planning was in order instead of cuffing it as we'd done so far. In an air conditioned camper... Bliss..

Day 7 - Grand Canyon. Up early and on the road only to get to the Grand Canyon National Park and it was raining!!

Time to buy some gifts for home and let the storm clouds pass. 1/2 hour later and with the clouds passed, we bought our passes for the park and after being waved through by the cutest Park Ranger you've ever seen (female I might add... (but not a patch on my darling wife... Phew, nearly dropped myself in it there...)) we were through to probably the worlds greatest natural wonder. Its difficult to explain if you haven't ever seen the Canyon. Words such as awesome, fantastic, tremendous do not do it justice. We initially intended to do a bit of hiking down into the canyon, but even after the rain it was too hot, so we wussed out and did the normal tourist bit of taking pictures. We started off at the visitor centre by Mather Point on the South Rim of the Canyon, watching some lunatic people get themselves onto precarious rocks for 'the photo'. We just let Siobhan's new camera take the strain. Hopefully she'll get a lead to upload them onto this site before we get home. Until then its my dismal efforts....

We then decided to head east along the Canyon, stopping at various points along the way to take pics and just gaze in amazement at nature's wonder.

The last stop of the day was Desert Point where you can look along the length of the canyon with the Colorado River raging in the base of the canyon. Siobhan was taken by the Park Ranger on a beautiful horse just by the entrance.... So much so that she wanted me to stop the BEAST in the middle of the road to take a picture.... Not sure the queue of traffic behind would have been impressed.

Heading out of the Canyon on the lesser known eastern trail, we headed for the next campsite about 160 miles away. This route showed us some of the sights not normally seen by the vast majority of Canyon tourists. Native American Indians forced to make a living off roadside 'market stalls' selling 'authentic' Indian crafts for a few dollars. The ramshackle trailer parks where they lived alongside busy highways showed that these stalls weren't exactly gold mines... Still, we found out later that things are being done to make the lot of the Indians better by allowing them to set up Casino's tax free. In doing so, that they can utilise the revenue generated to improve the community facilities on the reservations... Still got some way to go though...

Finally, camp site reached and after some cold pizza, beer and jalapeno peppers for tea for me and a Big Mac for Siobhan, it was nighty night and ready for the next leg... Memphis, Tennessee and the home of the King of Rock and Roll, Mr Elvis Presley.

Posted by Simon Lock 20:33 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites

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