The Grand Circle Tour – Day Nine – The Grand Canyon

After a nice buffet breakfast at the Best Western in Page, AZ, we headed out toward the Grand Canyon.  We stopped at a roadside stand to check out some Native American crafts (pottery, jewelry, tomahawks, etc.) along the way.

Jan 5Jan 6Jan 7

We reached the Grand Canyon via the Desert View Entrance Station, which is at the eastern end of the south rim.  We stopped at the Desert View Watchtower and were treated to our first glimpse of the massive canyon.

1EIMG_78281EIMG_78292EIMG_7853

Before us was panorama that was on a scale like nothing we had experienced on our trip to date.  A sign titled “Edge of Vastness” indicated that the canyon was one mile deep, 18 miles wide and 277 river miles long.  It was hard to comprehend the enormity of the landscape in front of us.

 

2EIMG_7857
The Crew with the Colorado River and the massive canyon in the distance.

 

 

 

2EIMG_78692EIMG_78662EIMG_78652EIMG_7862

2EIMG_7861
Close-up of a section of rapids.

2EIMG_78551EIMG_78401EIMG_7839

4EIMG_8025
Look closely and you can see a bridge that spans the river.

4EIMG_8018

 

1EIMG_7842

After checking out the views from several other vantage points along the way, we headed to the Maswik Lodge to check in.  The Lodge is actually a collection of two-story buildings with guest rooms that are grouped around a central building.  The main building houses the reception area, a gift shop, and a cafeteria-style restaurant. We were assigned to the Mesquite Building.  The rooms were a bit rustic and basic, but were clean and well-equipped.  The location was excellent, with access to the South Rim Trail only a short walk away.

Jan 13

Jan 12
The Mesquite Building within the Maswik Lodge complex.

 

We settled into our rooms and then headed along the path to check out more amazing views of the canyon.  We passed several shops, galleries, and lodges as we walked along the South Rim Trail.  Of all the national parks we had visited, the Grand Canyon was definitely more well-equipped, with facilities and amenities to accommodate visitors at every turn.

 

3EIMG_8003
A park ranger explained that this heart-shaped rock, known as Matrimony Rock, was probably placed in the wall around 1934.  Legend has it that a young man, working for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), placed it in the wall to honor his beloved, who was probably a young lady working a concession job at the park.  The rock is between Kachina Lodge and El Tovar Hotel.

 

Below are some photos of some of the wildlife along the south rim.

2EIMG_78582EIMG_7847

2EIMG_7851
Friendly raven looking for a handout.
4EIMG_8016
A buzzard soaring overhead.

 

 

3EIMG_7889
Mule deer were grazing all along the South Rim Trail.  They appeared to be extremely tame, but we were warned to keep our distance.

 

Jan 11Jan 8

4EIMG_8028

We ended up in front the El Tovar Hotel, which is the premier lodging facility within the park.  Built in 1905, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has hosted U.S. presidents and other dignitaries over the years.  We decided to have an early dinner at the restaurant and the staff did not seem to mind that I was wearing a T-shirt and shorts.  This was definitely the best meal of our trip.  Jan opted for the sea bass entrée, while the rest of us decided to mix it up with various salads and appetizers.  The seared sea scallops were perfectly cooked and delicious.  At the end of the meal, we were all tempted by their wonderful selection of desserts.

3EIMG_7961
The front entrance to the El Tovar Hotel
3EIMG_7908
Rear view of the El Tovar Hotel

3EIMG_7880

3EIMG_7879
The El Tovar Hotel occupies some prime real estate on the south rim and affords visitors amazing views.

Feeling content after a wonderful meal, we headed back to our rooms and called it a night.

 

One thought on “The Grand Circle Tour – Day Nine – The Grand Canyon”

  1. Once again awesome photos and interesting commentary! Loved the array of wildlife pics. I’ve never seen a mule deer before. And how sweet is the Matrimony Heart Rock!!! Someone was dearly loved!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s