All the canyons we have visited so far are little appetizers to the main course, the Grand Canyon. As we drove in from the East Entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park yesterday, we caught our first glimpse of the 18-mile wide, 6,000 feet deep canyon. We both let out a, “Oh My God!” and sucked in air with the realization of how high and how close to the edge we were.
Today, we walked about three miles along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The easy paved walk takes advantage of the best views of the canyon, but to do so requires that you are seriously close to the edge of cliffs with drop offs up to 1,000s of feet down. The trail for most of the way does not have railing and along the way are signs stating you must stay on the path and the dangerous circumstances if you do not. I must say right now, that people can be idiots. Not only do they walk off the path to the edge of the cliff for a “once-in-a-lifetime” photo shoot; they let their young children out there. There have been over 600 deaths at the Grand Canyon, often due to over-zealous amateur photographers. Stupid.
We did not consider that this time of year may be crowded. Spring Break. The sights and shops are relatively un-crowded until noon, but after that the train and buses filled with tourists pour into the Park. Our plan today included eating breakfast at the historic El Tovar hotel, a short visit to the Hopi Arts and Crafts shop and a walk along the South Rim—all completed before noon. We avoided the crowds and missed the wind/rain this afternoon by following our plan. Came home to our RV for a snack of chardonnay, cheese, crackers and apple. Life is good when a plan comes together.