[15-16 Aug, Tanju] We left Grand Teton hotel after witnessing the sunrise reflecting on the mountains. We had about 12 hour to drive to Grand Canyon so we left quickly around 7 am. We crossed Wyoming mountains and forests, Utah plains and finally ended up in the deserts of Arizona. As it happened since Mt. Rushmore most of the trip was not on the Interstate highways but on the older two-lane or divided highways (as decided by the navigation device). At sunset we arrived at Page, Arizona. There we discovered that US 89 was closed with no clear instructions for an alternative. We got a one-word direction (“straight”) at a strange general store/gas station and ended up on a deserted two-lane road. Our navigation device was insisting on returning us to the closed road. After an hour on that road, even the navigation decided to calculate a new road. After this detour, we finally arrived at our hotel in Tusayan around 10:30 pm.
Zehra and I had visited Grand Canyon about 20 years ago in very early spring and were very impressed at the first sight of the Canyon. So I was expectant to see Ali and Irem’s reaction when they would see the Canyon for the first time as we headed towards the South Rim in the morning. It was much more crowded with tourists due to high season and it was getting hot very quickly. I attributed the muted response of kids to the first view from the rim to these factors 🙂
Since we didn’t have proper hiking gear, we took the Bright Angel Trail down to the Canyon. We climbed down about 1180 feet (360 meters) in three hours (one hour going down, two climbing back up). During this time couple of California Candors were circling above. If it weren’t for the other tourists, it was like one of those desert scenes in the western movies.
An insect had bitten Irem at Grand Teton, the swelling around the bite was not getting better. So we visited the clinic at Grand Canyon. The doctor on duty was this young mellow surfer type and was very helpful. Afterwards we hiked along the rim towards west. We took a shuttle bus back to the Mather Point to watch the sunset.
Next morning, Zehra and I headed back to Mather Point before dawn to watch the sunrise. There was quite a crowd. But as you can see in some of the photos, it was well worth it.