Grand Canyon South


Grand Canyon South

During our trip to Las Vegas I told you about our magnificent trip to the Grand Canyon. That was Grand Canyon West. One request of Jim’s daughter and son-in-law on their visit with us in Arizona this spring was an overnight trip to see the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon South is much more accessible, especially from Arizona. We put together a plan.

We left by car early enough in the morning to arrive in Sedona at noon hour. It seems like we are often there, or passing through, but there is always a new perspective and this was Anthony’s first trip to Arizona, so we spent a few hours climbing again. This time it was Bell Tower Rock that received our attention, rather than Cathedral Rock. Being early in March we expected the weather to be still cool and we dressed for the occasion—well at least I did. However, the sun was hot that day. The hike was much easier going for the most part, but enough for me to work up a sweat. About three-quarters of the way I had to take a rest on a shady ledge, and the others carried on until the climb became too shear to navigate. I took the time to snap more pictures, of course!

Karen & Anthony, ready to start

Karen & Anthony, ready to start

Bell Tower Climb

On the path

Follow the sign

Follow the sign

View from my perch

View from my perch

Looking Up

They’re up there somewhere!

Found Them

Ah, hah! Found them!

Williams Arizona was our final destination that day. We had rooms booked at the Marriott Hotel. A stop at the Railway Station, where we could have caught a train to the Canyon, revealed a kiosk where admittance tickets to the Grand Canyon National Park could be purchased. These not only would enable us to by-pass the line up at the gate, but were much less expensive. We opted out of taking the train, which might have been fun, because of the limited time allowed at the Canyon before the return. After dinner at the hotel restaurant, we called it an early night.

There wasn’t much in the vicinity of the hotel to explore, so Williams at first seemed unimpressive, but when we drove through the main street on our way out the next morning we thought it might be an interesting place to spend more time.

By mid-morning we were in the hub of the park and looking at maps to decide which way we wanted to hike. We stocked up on sandwiches, water and snacks at the store before taking our path of choice. Before long, we had reached the breath-taking South Canyon Rim. It was an entirely different view than that we’d seen from the West Rim. Needless to say, we were busy closing our dropped-jaws and snapping pictures.

Risky Business

Risky business! Notice the fellow way out on a ledge by himself?

Another brave soul

Another brave soul

Sitting on the Edge

Sitting on the Edge

Guy laying on the edge

Looks like a good place to rest to me…not!

Lunch Break

Lunch Break

Breath-taking View

Breath-taking View

South Rim IMG_4564 IMG_4580

It was well after dark when we arrived back in Mesa and soon crawled into bed, exhausted but happy.

The Grand Canyon


Our day started at 5:00 a.m. as we needed to be waiting outside at 6:20 to catch a shuttle van to a small airport at Henderson, where we began our Grand Canyon Adventure. After much perusing of brochures we’d decided that, although expensive, the full tour with Vegas 500 was the best value. At the airport we were offered coffee and comfortable couches to sit in, after we’d signed all necessary waivers, while we waited for the plane to be prepared. Pictures were taken, instructions were given and we climbed aboard the nine-passenger Cessna Caravan and were lifted up into the bright blue yonder. It was a cool, but clear day, unlike the two previous days when three of our fellow passengers, who hailed from Ireland, had attempted the tour. This was their last chance, and luck was with them.

Vegas 500 Plane

Flying over Vegas

After 20 years of drought, the only green to be seen is on the golf courses

We all had window seats, which made for much picture taking all around as we flew over historical Boulder City, Lake Mead and Grand Canyon West. Upon arrival to the Hualapai Indian Reservation airport our plane pilot got us our arm bands for the rest of the tour. We were thrilled to learn that we had been assigned front seats on the helicopter that awaited us! Lots more picture taking as we dropped over the cliff and down 4000 feet into the Canyon.

Helicopter

Our helicopter

Grand Canyon

Dropping over the edge

Approaching the Colorado River

Approaching the Colorado River

Into Grand Canyon

Into Grand Canyon. Note the tiny dock and pontoon boats below

From the helicopter we were hustled down an embankment to a large pontoon boat that would take us on a twenty-minute trip on the Colorado River. Wow!

Trekking down the rocks

Trekking down the rocks

View from the Colorado River

View from the Colorado River

Back to the top in another helicopter, we boarded a bus to Eagle Point, where we awed at the vistas and ventured out onto the glass Skywalk. No cameras were allowed here; no phones or purses or backpacks either. Lockers were provided for such items, and we were given cloth booties to put over our shoes before we stepped onto the glass. A professional photographer was available to take as many pictures as we wanted. Of course, they were all beautiful and we couldn’t choose, so ended up purchasing the whole package! When we were ready, the bus was waiting to take us to Guano Point, and then onto Hualapai Indian Village. The designated three and a half hours slipped by too quickly. At the Village we were given a delicious buffet lunch before we had to catch our bus back to the airport for our reluctant return to the city.

Eagle Point

Eagle Point

Skywalk

Skywalk, Grand Canyon

Skywalk

Looking 4000 feet down

Another long, exciting day ended in a very early retreat to our beds while the younger members of the family partied into the wee hours. A text message received long after we’d been asleep told us that one of them had won $1,000 at the slots! Did we want to join them? We had to pass.