Grand Canyon, Arizona
Monday, December 28, 2009
I was up early before the sun to take a drive on a circular route through the desert. Unfortunately the sky was still very overcast and the light was flat, so I didn’t get any great pictures, but I did admire the desert scenery and cacti.
This was the closest to Mexico that I got — so close in fact that my cell phone thought I was in Mexico, while in fact I was a few kilometres north of the border. From there I began a long drive north into colder parts of Arizona. Soon I was leaving the warm desert behind me and climbing up into snow-covered forests of Ponderosa pines north of Phoenix, as I reached Flagstaff for the night. Flagstaff was the closest thing to winter I’d experienced since the snowstorm on the journey south.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The weather forecasts were for calling for several days of cloudy snowy crappy weather, so I wasn’t sure what to do. I decided to take my chances and go to Grand Canyon anyway, knowing that the option remained of returning if I didn’t see it at its best.
I caught bits of sun here and there, and the clouds even had a bit of drama, but on the whole it was pretty cloudy and dull. The canyon itself though is still amazing — much more vast than I ever could’ve imagined.
Even at this time of year, it was jammed with tourists, and finding a place to park was no easier than West Edmonton Mall on Boxing Day. I would hate to see it at peak season. Sometimes I have to laugh at the antics and behavior of some of the tourists. Classic case in point, some bratty children who would rather be playing video games were running around near the edge of the canyon and driving their poor mother crazy. Her retort: “I brought you into this world, and I can just as easily take you out of it.” I frankly hoped she would push them over the edge.
Fortunately, you only have to walk a short distance to get away from the crowds. It seems most people won’t walk more than 100 feet from their cars, so there were very few people on the trail that ran along by the edge of the canyon. I admired the many views staring down into the depths of the canyon and miles across it.
That evening I drove to Page in northern Arizona and bought a ticket for the next day to take a photography tour of Antelope Canyon.