On our last day in Arizona we decided to sleep in and missed the sunrise. We left Mike’s camper early to go for a hike in the Sonora Desert National Monument. We started out early, obviously, to beat the heat. We walked out to an old coral and did some investigating on the way. As you can guess there were mostly cacti, but took some time to check them out. There is a certain beauty to the desert, but it is definitely not some place I would want to live for an extended period of time. While we were out there I was hoping to find some lizards, especially a Gila Monster, or I wanted to see a snake. There is not much else out there. Unfortunately or fortunately, I did not find either one.
After our hike in the desert we returned for a great breakfast and then headed out to find some cranes we had seen the night before. We are not sure why there were so many cranes in the area, but they were hanging out along some of the irrigation ditches. My guess is that they are in the process of migrating.
Mike took us to see the town of Gila Bend, there is not much there. We visited their favorite tourist shop and then went back to the camper so Mary and I could prepare to leave. It was a pretty uneventful day to an extremely fun, but busy weekend. I loved the trip and am looking forward to sharing pictures very soon.
We arrived in Arizona on Saturday and headed directly for the Grand Canyon from the airport. On the way to the canyon we saw a sign for the Montezuma Castle National Monument. We decided to go check out the park since none of us had any idea what it was. We found out that it was some Native American cliff dwellings. This was definately not what we expected, but they were quite fascinating to see. As we headed north snow came down and we were looking forward to seeing the snow at the canyon. We wanted to beat the heavy snow. Thankfully, they did not recieve the amount of snow they expected, so we got to enjoy the canyon in the snow.
We reached the Grand Canyon late in the afternoon and decided to go look for a spot to watch the sunset. My first view of the canyon was breathtaking. It is hard to describe the feeling that comes over you when you see its vastness. We found our spot to witness our first sunset. Watching the sunset was spectacular enough, but seeing the change in the colors as the sun disappeared behind the ridge cannot be described.
We woke up the next morning, well before dawn, to play witness to our first sunrise. Since we did not have much time the night before to find a spot to photograph the sunrise, we went back to where we were the night before. We set up shop and waited for the sun to appear over the canyon wall. The colors change so quickly that if you turn your back on the show for just a short time you will be shocked at the changes that come across the canyon in such a short period of time. We spent the day at the canyon, except for a couple hour drive to Williams, AZ for breakfast and a short walk around town. If you have ever seen the movie Cars, then Williams is the place for you to visit since many of the businesses are based on places from the town. We headed back to the canyon and spent the rest of the day visiting the east side of the South Rim. We worked our way down to Desert View and then set up for the Sunset. While we waited for the show Mike and I took some time to explore some of the ridge line around Lipon point. We enjoyed another spectacular show then headed back to the hotel to prepare for the next day.
This morning we woke up early to head to Desert View in order to watch the sunrise. It was great to get there and witness the quiet the canyon provides when you are all by yourself. We watched the show in almost complete silence. After the sun came up we chased the colors of the canyon along the rim until we can to a point that we could go no further. Having witnessed the beauty and wonder the canyon has to offer we headed south for Gila Bend.
We drove through the Sonora Desert National Monument on our way to Mike’s place. We went to the Painted Rock Petroglyphs site and watched the sunset to finish an amazing day. Tomorrow we head to the Sonora Desert for a morning hike and sunrise. After that we will spend some time together before Mary and I head off to the airport and back to Kansas. Let you know what happens tomorrow.