Visiting Uncle Sam – 11 – Grand Canyon South Rim

I am back!!! (with all the demo days going on and working over the weekends for past week and this week, with less than 6 hrs of sleep for almost a week, and a severe cold to help me out, its crazy… really!!! but now I have some free time because of the builds going on and I dont have anything else to do till its done) 

With Justin Bieber’s songs go on in the background, here I go again, recounting my lovely days in the Grand Canyon’s South Rim tour and the other set of places I got to visit over the past weekends.

You already know how I loved the trip to the West Rim and you might think,  what else is there to see now , its just the same kind of ravines.. Why do you really want to go to South Rim. If you want to see the real Canyon , the real depth, you should always take the South Rim or the North Rim tour. North Rim is closed since October due to the on set of winter / fall, whatever they call here.. the altitude is higher in North Rim and this is a place where you can see the snow over the Canyon (what a contradiction!!! Desert with a snow!! Nature is a mystery always) 

So I had the South Rim tour booked and as usual started @ 6.30 am to the Office through the connecting bus and started the drive to South Rim exactly by 7.20 am (after a short stop in the tour office for a snack and coffee). It is a 4-5 hr drive so they put on the DVD with the history of the Canyon and how the North Rim looks like and the Grand Canyon Railways and their history etc etc. I fell asleep on the way for a while… But got up again when we started on a new road, which we hadnt seen the previous day. The weather was not sunny but not raining either. It was just chill and bright. And around 11.30 we reach the “Grand Depot Cafe” in the Grand Canyon Railway area in Arizona. 

Here we had our lunch. It was very good. They had all options that you can think of and lot of vegetarian options too. Thank fully we were the first ones to the South rim tour when compared to the other tour operators so we had our time there. By the time we finished 2 more operators came in. 
After that again it was again an hour and half journey , crossed Route 66 and then via Valle and then Williams and reach around by 2 pm in the Grand Canyon National Park
It was so cold outside that it was freezing and we were higher in altitude too. And there was no Sun in sight. Aint this the right way to see the Canyon 😉

We were asked to go around till 4.30 pm and were instructed for two view points nearby. Mather View point and the Bright Angels lodge and if time permits the Kolb’s studio. But we had to get back by 4.30 because if we start by 5 then we could reach Las Vegas by 10 or 11 pm (with the Sunday traffic). So we got down and first went to the Mather view point….. Was it the weather or the sight of that place, it gave me the chills. It still is before my eyes. Whenever I close my eyes and wish to see , I know exactly how it looks, how it smells, the fresh cold air on my face frizzing up my hair. I didnt want to do anything but just ‘be there’. 

 When you see it , thats when you realize why this is called “The Grand” Canyon… Its Grand alright.. and  it just takes your breath away !!! Its beautiful!!!!! They say that every second is important here because the way the clouds & the sunlight play the kind of games on the canyon is very beautiful and every picture is different. Its me. My Camera was working overtime with all set of modes once I drank in the grandeur with my eyes. I roamed through the viewpoints, tried to get the edge and was so so so Happy.. or even better, I was at peace !!! that would be appropriate. Nothing beats the feeling to be in a place where you ever wanted to be and to be there to enjoy it on your own without having to worry about anything.. You and the place.. thats it.. I am really very lucky. After whiling around, I went to the office around there, and got the stamp of Grand Canyon national park on my passport (yup, you can do that… if you want to register the seal of canyon as a memorabilia) and then started to the Bright Angel’s Lodge. By then Lord Sun was feeling better and was coming up, trying to keep us a little warm and cozy in that cold weather. 

If you wanted to go for a trek on a mule you can go ahead and they will take you down there. See the picture above, in that deep ravine, if you see closely you can see a few mules walking down. Thats where you will go from where I was. Imagine!!! They also say that they train the mule in such a way that it will try to walk over the edge , to give you the feel of the canyon !!!! For me, they dont even have to try that hard!!! But it seemed like a particularly adventurous one. But I dont have time or the guts to do that this time. They have a studio which was built a very long long long time ago. 
The place was very very well maintained. And they have places for rest everywhere. You also get to go through a ropeway if you took the mule ride. 
And around 4.45 pm we started back to the bus and then started our ride back to Vegas. Even though the time spent in the Canyon was less than 3 hrs or so, it was worth it. It is little far away from Vegas and that is the reason that most people skip it. But please do not, if you plan to visit it. This is “The Canyon”. West Rim is just the tip of the iceberg. If you were in September, when the temperature is a little humid (and when the rattle snakes roam around the deserts) you can even see the North Rim. 

I was really very happy that I did this trip even though most of the time went in the bus journey. Time is no measure of how good a thing is. Its your happiness with it. And I was oh so happy to have done that and given a chance I dont mind coming back here 😀
I dont have a clue about the geological significance of this place except that if there was no Colorado River, the Canyon wouldn’t have been there. But sadly the river is diminishing (is that the term ?)

On the way back, they put a movie called “The Bucket List” starring two of very fav artists, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. It was a great movie. I loved it. Perfect one on the journey of life. 

I reached hotel by 10.30 pm and went to bed with so much of satisfaction on achieving something in life. Canyon was one of the places I ever wanted to visit. I did on my own. I know I am saying this again and again, but its not because of ego, its just that I never thought I had it in me to do such a thing. My confidence levels are always low. I wasn’t afraid but was hesitant. Why? – long story. But I am really glad about this trip overall. Like a quote : Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.

If you had any doubts of going to this place, like how it would be , will you like it etc.. dont think twice. This is a place, you have to see atleast once in your life time, given a chance. 

The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and illustration combined must fail. 
John Wesley Powell 

“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.” Theodore Roosevelt

They have listened to Roosevelt I guess 🙂


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