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The Grand Canyon

The Grandest!

overcast 58 °F

OK, so we've all seen pictures of the Grand Canyon, but if you haven't been, there's nothing that can compare with the real thing. We have seen many canyons on this trip and so far those in Canyonlands National Park were the standard we held them all up to. Then we saw the grandest of them all, and indeed maybe this park should be renamed the "Grandest Canyon" because, as far as what we have seen, this is it. And what is really nice is that the Rim Trail all along the South Rim is a wonderful and amazing walk. I say "walk" because that's what it is: a mostly flat and some miles paved, incredible walk. Every one hundred yards or so, you are drawn into a new and jaw-dropping view of beauty.


But boy, were we shocked when we climbed out of the RV at the campground park office and a 40 degree temperature slapped us in the face! We experienced 30-degree nights and 50-degree days while we were there. Great for hiking but brrrr! at night. There are two RV campgrounds, one without hookups: Mather Campground, and one with full hookups: Trailer Village, where we stayed. Huge, wild elk and mule deer wandered through the campground and along the rim trail so we had to keep our eyes peeled whenever we walked our dogs. There are several miles of the rim trail where you can bike and take your dogs. And the horse-sized elk surprised us every time.


We arrived around dusk on Wednesday, checked out the visitors center and the amazing views at Mather Point behind the visitors center on Thursday morning, then some cold rain set in for the rest of the day and forced us back to the RV for a double feature movie night with stove-popped popcorn and hot chocolate...VERY relaxing! Then, Friday, we walked ten miles of the rim trail, doing various segments from Hermit's Rest to the train depot to Verkamp's Visitors Center to the Hopi House to Pipe Creek Vista, some with the puppies, who thoroughly enjoyed seeing the elk and mule deer.


Then there was the really cool vintage Chrysler pulling a vintage AirStream trailer a few doors down in our campground.


That night, we dined at the famous El Tovar Lodge and forced ourselves to partake of their delicious jalapeno corn chowder, Wiener Schnitzel, spaetzle, roasted carrots, and apple streusel pie. YES, we loved it all! I brought my black cowboy hat on this 5-week trip through the southwest but had yet to adorn myself with it, so this seemed my last chance, and what could be more appropriate than an evening at a classic western lodge dining room perched on the rim of the Grandest Canyon? And Maggie was so sweet to put up with me running out of the lodge a few times to try and capture a photo or two of the canyon at sunset. With my cowboy hat on, of course!


Campground Review

Trailer Village, inside the park, was definitely the place to stay. The first national park campground we've visited that also had cable TV hookups! It was a great location, easy walk to the visitors center and the South Rim trail, staff were very helpful...we really enjoyed our stay there.

Tomorrow, on to the Meteor Crater National Landmark just outside Winslow, Arizona (where I have never stood on the corner, much less seen a girl in a flat-bed Ford)...

Posted by travelswitz 09:47

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