Monday, 30 March 2015

Day 13: Phoenix to Grand Canyon National Park

370  kilometers /  230  miles

This morning we said good-bye to the palm trees and cacti as we began our journey north through Flagstaff enroute to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

“Should be we stop here?”  With hardly a chance to think, I said, “OK!”  I am glad we did.  We pulled into what ended up being a large interpretive centre on the history and geology of the Sedona Forest – Red Rock Ranger Station, Coconino National Forest.

Dominic posed with a Smokey The Bear statue, Alexandre matched hoof prints with scat samples and Micha chatted with one of the hosts.  This proved valuable as he got directions to a scenic lookout above the town at the small airport.  It was a bit of a nail biter road getting up there but, as promised, the parking lot was large and the views stunning.  It was a most excellent place to stop for lunch.

We carefully picked our way back down and then crawled through Sedona.  This resort town reminds me of modern Osoyoos with all of the hotels, restaurants and little tourist shops. Those Pink Jeep tours look fun! Once through town, we drove the prettiest, narrow, tree-covered, two lane road that wound along the river and through a narrow canyon. 

Before we started our ascent, Dominic commented that the road on the GPS looked like someone scribbled on it.  That would be the minimum of 10 hairpin turns piled one on the other that we took getting up out of the valley.

As predicted, within 30 minutes we had risen out of the red rock valley and find ourselves on a mountain plateau with tall stands of proud pine.  Did we just get transported home?

A quick stop in Flagstaff for gas.  Oops we missed the Walmart where we hoped to do a major grocery run.  Oh well, it is a good time to clean out the freezer and pantry.

Approaching the Grand Canyon from the south is rather unremarkable.  Until you actually hit the park gates you would think you had taken a wrong turn somewhere. We found Trailer RV Campground nestled in the pines and quickly set up.  Micha readied the bikes and we tore down the paved trails 500 m to pop out at the edge of the majestic Grand Canyon just before sun set. 

You always hear that pictures do not do landscape justice.  Well, that is the truth.

Tomorrow we will explore the Creator’s playground.

Making friends with Smokey the Bear. 

Towering red rocks as we approach Sedona. 

Good information at the interpretive centre led us to this high airport parking lot
across the street from a fabulous view point. 

As predicted, within 30 minutes, we have risen out of the Sedona red rock
area and arrived in. . ..  Merritt?!  Ha, ha. High plateau pine forest. 

Arriving at the Grand Canyon in the early evening we hop
on our bikes to the edge of the Grand Canyon in the setting sun. 

This the book Grandma reads to the boys when she visits.
Here we are right near Bright Angel Creek, the setting of this story. 

Hanging out in the trailer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment