Even though I am home from vacation, I wrote most of this post (and other vacation ones) DURING the trip at our nightly stops. Hence the time references are off. But sometimes that’s how it goes. I guess.
After a bit of a tough night during which I froze my booty off (didn’t have enough blankets with me), I found myself awake at the ass-crack of dawn.
We spent a relatively short time on the road today, with a stop planned at the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest. We spent a couple hours going through the park, which was nice. I felt that once you’d seen one part of the Painted Desert, there wasn’t much else to see there. But the Petrified Forest was very cool. I did love seeing the petrified wood & the differences in the look of the pieces.
The stopping point for the night was the Grand Canyon Railway hotel – it was nice to have a nicer room for the last night in a hotel, especially after spending the day getting hot & yucky feeling while walking around the park.
One thing I did not seem to pack for this trip was sunblock. Which, with plans to walk around the park today & hit the Grand Canyon tomorrow, was not my brightest move.
I slept pretty well, given that I had a swank hotel room for the evening & we headed out to the Grand Canyon around 10am. For some reason, the National Park Service has neglected to mention in their publications that they are working on improvements to the Grand Canyon – well, to the park portions, at least. Once I got oriented to where I actually was, I started out at Mather Point, which is near the entrance/visitors center, but then had to backtrack some to detour around the construction zones. I ended up walking 2 miles of the South Rim Trail – from Mather Point to Bright Angel Lodge.
At one point in my “hike”, I hit a sign that said how far it was to the Bright Angel Lodge & how far I’d come from one of the observation points. By then, I was exhausted – I forget that the change in elevation makes even an easy walk a lot more work – and I still had almost a full mile to walk. I plodded along, eventually getting closer to civilization. I finally arrived at Bright Angel tired, hungry, and a little crabby. A quick hot dog took care of the hungry & crabby and a ride on the shuttle back to the starting point took care (partially) of the tired.
Once we finished at the canyon, we headed on our way to Phoenix. When we were about 30 minutes away, I managed to snap this picture of the sunset, which was just gorgeous, as most sunsets I’ve seen in Arizona are.