Day 9 – Arizona. Our Canyons are Grander than yours.

Waking up in New Mexico was much more enjoyable than walking up in Texas! We had a great night sleep with the mid-50s weather and a nice gentle sunrise to ease us awake. The KOA campground we were staying at offered a ‘free breakfast’ so we went and investigated. Well, it was a simple ‘continental’ breakfast – nothing like the hot breakfast we were expecting! – but the free food was very enjoyable. We had some delicious oatmeal and drank a couple cups of tea before breaking down camp. Up next was the Grand Canyon, yahoooooo!!!

            The drive from New Mexico to Arizona was pretty uneventful. We saw plenty of cacti – not the cool, tall, people-look-alike cactus just the boring, low, prickly pear cactus – and lots of open land. Again, it’s just amazing how much nothing there is in this country. How about some New Englanders move out here to spread things out a bit?

            We took Patrick’s Uncle Mike’s advice and headed toward the Grand Canyon by way of the east entrance. Once you pay your $25.00 per car entrance fee, you drive about a half mile before you see the first scenic overlook. Unbelievable!

            The majority of the road has a buffer of trees between the road and the canyon (I would assume so people aren’t rubbernecking the whole time their driving like I was trying to do) but does have about six or seven absolutely amazing view spots.

We’ll say it once – and repeat it a million times – the Grand Canyon is absolutely enormous. It is incredible just how large it is and unfortunately none of the pictures will ever do it justice. You must go!

            As we made our way all the way to the Mather Campground, we noticed just how packed the park was, and began to wonder if we’d be able to get a site. Apparently, we were not the only ones because once we got close to Mather, tons of signs were around “Campground Full”. Ugh, what were we gunna do. We talked to the ranger and he suggested a nearby site that was just outside the National Park. We made our way to Ten-X Campground, saw tons of open sites (phew) and picked ours. Just as we were about to set up it started to rain, so we reserved our site and headed back to the Canyon where we could at least enjoy the views while it rained.

            Once back at the Canyon, we stopped by the Visitors Center and the Gift Shop. Just as we were about to head to the Rim, it started to pour, so we ducked into a movie that was just about to start telling ‘The Grand Canyon’s story…’ Once that was finished, it had stopped raining! We walked around a bit of the Rim Trail and took in all the changing views. We saw an awesome rainbow and even found a spot for daredevil Ally to go and get a closer look.

            We took the opportunity to check out most of the scenic overlooks, some from which you can even see the Colorado River down below! With the sun setting, we decided to head back, set up camp and cook dinner; on the menu was Hot Dogs w/ Rice Pilaf. We opted out of making a fire the first night because we wanted to get an early start the next day and hopefully catch a Canyon Sunrise so we headed to bed.

            More Grand Canyon adventures to come!!!

Grants, NM to Grand Canyon National Park, AZ – 360 mi

-Ally and Bubba

PS. A) Sorry about taking so long to put up these posts. Last couple days have been very hectic.

PS. B) This and ALL succeeding posts are coming to you from San Diego, California! We made it!

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