This morning we ventured north/east along the rim of the canyon by truck. The route is accessible to cars so we perfected our last minute left turn off the road into various viewpoints as we made our way towards the Desert Watch Tower.
At the Grand View pull-out we clambered down a ways to a particularly inviting outcropping to take some daring photos.
At the end of this 15 or so mile journey we finally arrive at our goal the Desert Watch Tower. This is a large rest area with ample parking, restrooms, gift shop, picnic tables and small interpretive center in the base of the tower.
We planned ahead this time and had our lunch packed along. Yesterday we ended up forking out $20 USD for 4 ‘prepared’ sandwiches – the kind you may find in 7-11 with enough preservatives to add 10 years to your life. Not making that mistake again.
This tower was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter who also designed Hermit’s Rest (remember that big stone fireplace from yesterday?). Tourist are permitted to climb up the inside to peak out windows. The interior walls are painted. It also has a very interesting, almost woven beam, ceiling on the bottom floor. We thought Grandpa would like that.
We cannot resist one last pull-out at the Tusayan Museum and Ruins on our way back to the campground in the early afternoon. Only the sign was visible so we took a chance and turned off the road. There was a short walk around the rock foundations of a former home and a small one room museum with artifacts that were interesting to see.
We saw signs on the road warning of mountain lions but alas we did not see one.
On this day my office environment goes up a few notches compared to working in the McDonald’s parking lot. I am happily situated at a picnic table outside the little grocery store. As hot, tired tourists stop for something to eat it was interesting to observe the family dynamics. Lots of bickering and complaining!
After a few hours the boys show up on their bike with Micha on their way back from the Grand Canyon interpretive centre.
Later, I head out myself to wander through the displays. In the back 40 behind the campground is the resting ground for many, many elk. Some stand, many lay and turn a lazy head as I bike slowly past. No need for a stir.
We all sit outside in the late afternoon sun and watch a number of elk walking around the campground. One had big horns, the other sniffed around a few hot BBQ’s, another lapped up water from a loose water hose on a trailer. The boys entertained themselves playing baseball. After dinner it is one last bike ride to the canyon rim to watch the sun set.
Good night, Grand Canyon, you are majestic.
|The first men and boats to travel down the Colorado River|
in the Grand Canyon.