Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Part Eight~the Really GRAND CANYON !

First of all let me say...for those of you living in the U.S. and are 62 years of age and over.....go to the closest National Park and buy a Golden Age Passport for $10.  It's a lifetime pass and can be used for discounts or in the case of the Grand Canyon, the price for us was FREE.  At several campgrounds we simply filled in the Golden Age Pass number on the little envelope and our campsite was half price.  A real deal for seniors. 

We entered at the South Rim entrance and almost immediately were treated to some of the most beautiful sights.  We parked first at Mather Point  where we took pictures and visited the Visitor Center.  We knew our visit wouldn't be very long, as it was extremely cold and windy right from the beginning.  We even encountered snow flakes at several of the viewing points.   The canyon at times was completely obscured by clouds and at other times was partly cloudy and sunny.  The dark clouds in the distance were very ominous and were slowly moving closer.  We literally went from vista point to vista point admiring the views, snapping pictures and then ducking back into the cab of the truck to warm up.  The weather conditions were not what we had hoped for but it did not take away the pleasure of seeing the magnificent views.  The Grand Canyon is truly grand and we just saw a little corner of it.

When we left the park, we stopped at several Navajo craft stands, admiring the jewelry, pottery and other craft items.  At one stand there was a sweet lady doing some bead work and her hands were so cold, they were nearly purple.   They were all freezing too.  I bought one little pot...I would have preferred a bigger one and more than one but I live in an already packed mobile home. The little pot is only 2 1/2 inches high and cost $15.  But the detail work around the sides is so pretty and of course it's been glazed, so has a nice shiny finish. The artists all sign their ceramic items...my pot was made by M. Grey  and then it says "Navajo"  under the name.    And I bought one silver necklace....that I absolutely love.  It was only $7 and I wish now I would have bought several of them.   The style I bought was also available with many other colors of beads. 

About 25 miles from Flagstaff those black clouds finally opened up and a heavy rain started.  It absolutely poured...I thought for a minute we were back home in Washington.  Just outside of Flagstaff it turned to snow, and by the time we got into town it was really coming down (and sideways since the wind was blowing).  We spied an Outback up ahead of us, so went off the freeway, figuring if we stopped to eat..the snow would diminish while we were in the restaurant......no such luck.   When we came out of the Outback, it snowing even harder.  Bob ran to the truck and came & picked me up at the front door and I told him, that he'd forgotten to turn the headlights on.  He reminded me that the headlights come on automatically when the engine is running.  So he stopped and got out and looked...the headlights were totally packed with snow.  He cleaned them off and we continued on.   Being an avid skier, he has driven in many snow storms getting to the mountains.  He said the drive from Flagstaff down out of the snow, on a scale of 1-10...10 being unable to see past your nose....the visibility this night was at least a 7.  Here we were in the dark, on an unfamiliar highway, in blinding snow, big semi's roaring by us...it was darn scary.   Finally about 40 miles south of Flagstaff we were out of the snow and parked safely for the night in a rest area. 

Until next time..........Linda

13 comments:

pm71blackfen said...

Hi Linda,

I've really enjoyed reading about your trip because we have just come back (last Friday!) to the UK after spending three weeks in America and seem to have been to the same places as you!  We were at the Grand Canyon on Tuesday 24th April and Las Vegas on the 30th!!  I'm hoping to post an entry about our travels but it won't be anywhere near as detailed as yours!!  I've enjoyed reading about your trip and seeing your photos too. ~~~ Pat  

http://journals.aol.co.uk/pm71blackfen/ramblings-from-pat

radar446 said...

Wow, I love your canyon pictures.  There have been so many famous photographs created from some of the very places you have stood.  I can only imagine how it must have felt to be standing so close to something so awe inspiring.

Greg

jlocorriere05 said...

The Grand Canyon certainly is grand! I've been to it twice, once I flew through it in a helicopter back in 2002. Sorry the weather was so cold, even in November when I first went there it was still hot, about 80F, I never saw a cloud there either! The weather's been completely weird lately over in the US and here! I'm glad you got there anyway and saw it, I lost all sense of perspective there, the Colorado River looked like a small stream although I knew it was very wide! Jeannette xx  http://journals.aol.co.uk/jlocorriere05/Welcometomytravels/  

justplainbill said...

Linda, great pictures. I found out I am a little leery of hights. Thanks for sharing, Bill

pharmolo said...

Stunning pictures - you didn't go on that glass walkway did you?

fasttrack58 said...

The Grand Canyon is so beautiful! It's amazing how it looks more like a painting than real when you are standing right there... And oh my goodness, one day sweating in death valley and then snowing in the grand canyon, lol...
Linda :)

mariealicejoan said...

WOW  I have always wanted tos ee the Grand Canyon and now I feel as if I have!  Thanks so much!
Marie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/mariealicejoan/MariesMuses/

queenb8261 said...

You know there is a God when you're standing out there looking down into the Grand Canyon. I've only been there during the summer. Sorry you had such uninviting conditions. Then driving thru a snowstorm. Heavy rain is bad enough. Another wonderful installation of your trip!
Barb

gaboatman said...

I have neverr been to the Grand Canyon and would love to see it.  The pictures are fabulous.  I would never have been able to drive in the hearvy snow storm with the semis zooming by.  Nope, I'd have to pull over and get snowed in, probably.
Sam

jonibooks1991 said...

Thanks for the tip about the passport, we'll have to find a Nat park.  Loved the pics, it was really beautiful there.  Loved the jewelry too.  The weather sounded terrible.  Who would think snow in Arizona.....  Joni

rbrown6172 said...

wow...it really is grand!  so beautiful....i would love to see it with my own eyes.  :)
gina

jeadie05 said...

Must be one of the seven wonders of the world if it isnt it should be ,thankyou for this I have been waiting for this entry since I received your postcard from here ,wonderful ,then fantastic envelope  arrived this morning full of amazing views  thankyou so   much dear friend Iam indeed blessed    Jan xx

nana0014 said...

Loving the pictures. I was about 12 when I went to the Grand Canyon. I don't remember our whole trip, but we drove from central Texas to California. We went through New Mexico, Las Vegas (I was in awe at a young age of this place), Grand Canyon (was awesome). This is my family's kind of road trip except you're missing about 8 kids. LOL.
Take care, Chrissie