December 11, 2012
Golly What a Gully
Today we spent the day getting to and from the Grand Canyon National Park and spending as much time as we possibly could there.
To get there we traveled up one of America’s Scenic Byways, the Oak Creek Canyon on highway 89 A. This is one of the few places where you can drive along and actually see a stream. All the rest of the streams in Arizona seemed to have cut themselves such a deep channel that they are rarely visible from up above.
We climbed up from Sedona onto the Colorado Plate which is about 2500 feet higher than Sedona and quite a bit colder. We went through Flagstaff which is about the size of Manteca. There are huge ranches in this area as it takes 100 acres to sustain one cow unit which is a cow and her calf. This is also home to the largest stand of Ponderosa pines in North America. And Flagstaff is surrounded by 700 cinder cones from ancient dormant volcanoes. At least they hope they are dormant.
We made a stop at Cameron which is a tourist trap on the Navajo reservations. While there were all of the usual beads and trinkets available there, there was also an art gallery. In there I found a Navajo blanket on sale for $95,000, a clay doll for $22,500 and a basket for $16,500. And that is in dollars not sea shells. It seems after all of these years the Navajo are still trying to scalp the white man.
We made it to the Grand Canyon and of course it is breath taking, awe inspiring, yada yada yada. Go see it. There is really no way to describe it or to take a decent picture of it. There are 277 miles of this canyon; it is ten miles across and 1 mile deep. As the sun moves across the sky it changes constantly. So no matter what description I could give, it would only cover a minute part of it.
But we had a sack lunch on the edge of the big ditch and took in as much as we could. After lunch we moved locale several times and it was always just as magnificent. A few of us took a short hike down the Bright Angel Trail. A long hike usually is 21 miles and takes two days so I passed on that.
We then hoped on our buses and headed home. We stopped for a meal in Flagstaff along the way. By the time we got home everyone was tired and we all called it a day.
I called it a trip. I have a 735 mile drive home tomorrow and will probably get an early start. If you don’t here from me again, then nothing bad happened on this drive home.
So long for now and thanks for coming along.