Saturday, July 4, 2015

Grand Canyon

Diana and I came back from Mexico and headed out to the Grand Canyon the next morning. I had never been there, which surprises a lot of folks. Come on, I haven't been everywhere...yet!

We did try to go a few years ago but didn't make it due to my MINI having a total-system electrical failure. Funny thing is I miss driving that car but I absolutely don't miss its crappy reliability. Actually, I really don't miss owning a car at all other than occasionally wanting to go out for a drive on some curvy mountain road...but that's a story for another day.

On the way out of town we stopped and visited an old work mate (...note to self, my English is starting to sound a bit U.K.) and his family who live a bit north of San Diego. He's a United States born of Mexican heritage and his wife is from Kyoto, Japan. They made us a delicious breakfast and we hung out for about a couple of hours. The best thing was that my friend surprised us as we left with a big-ole bag of snacks for our drive. Woohoo! Thanks guys. We'll pay you back when you're here in Barcelona, which, as I write this, is in a couple of days. See you soon!

Anyway, what can I say about the Grand Canyon? Hmm... Well, it's like a seven-hour drive from San Diego and pictures just don't do it justice. There's no airbnb options within a reasonable distance so I checked out nearby hotels, which, for the most part, are about a half-hour-or-so down the road. But, buried at the bottom of one of the pages of the Grand Canyon National Park website, they list two hotels that are...wait...inside the park. What? Inside the park? And within a short walking distance from the rim? And, at a great price? Booked!

We spent two days at the grand canyon and couldn't get enough of the views:

...which seem to change by the hour. Note that the photo above and the one below were taken on a very short distance away from each other and about an hour apart. Look at the difference in colors.

Like I said, photos don't do it justice. Can you tell from the photo below that the other side is almost seven miles away from the very-contented Colombian world traveler?

The hotel was basic but clean and cheap. It was nice to be able to walk over to the rim. The downside is that there's not a lot of food choices inside the park but we made due with supermarket food for breakfast and lunch and ate out each of the two nights.

If you've never gone, I'd highly recommend adding it to your list.

Along the south rim, which is where we spent all our time, there's a bus that takes you to different lookout points. We stopped at each one, and, really, they're all basically the same (but definitely worthwhile). We didn't walk down into the canyon as they scare you with stories of death if you decide to go and we were feeling somewhat lazy after traveling half-way around the world, going down to Mexico, and taking like eight or nine hours to drive to the park. :)

Yes, the photo below looks like I'm trying out for a part in Star Trek and, yes, it's real. No green screens here!

I don't know why I've added the photo below. It really does suck when trying to show what's going on the the big G.C. but, I gotta' bunch and figure maybe it'll get you to go one day if you haven't already. Note the Colorado river as a little silver curve about a mile below (towards the center of the picture):

The photo above was taken about an hour-or-so before sunset and the one below from basically the same spot just as the sun was going down behind another part of the south rim. You can see the river towards the right side.

We took the bus out to one of the suggested sunset-viewing locations and waited as the temperature and sun dropped. There were a couple hundred others around so I was a bit worried about being able to get onto one of the buses back to the visitor's center but the government's got you covered. They had a crap load of buses that started rolling like ten seconds after the sun disappeared. Impressive operation. You can tell they've done it before.

I've been pretty lucky to have been to so many places and seen so many things. The Grand Canyon's definitely one of the greats along with places like Tibet, and Kyoto and Nara in Japan, and, of course, Chiquinquira!

Diana on top of the world appreciating that thing we call life. What have you done recently that's made you as happy as she is in this photo? Get on it. There's no do-over.

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