Grand Canyon National Park, Page
139 days away
228 km / 142 miles since last post
52,464 km / 32,600 miles total
We both awoke this morning feeling extremely tired. The last couple of days of walking round the canyon and not getting back to the campsite until around 8pm had really tired us out. We had considered doing a short walking trail into the canyon today, but decided that we didn't really have the energy. Besides, it would probably mean having to stay around here another night and we really need to move on today. I didn't feel disappointed about not walking a trail as we had seen some beautiful sights of the canyon. It was superb.
We left the campground this morning and drove once again into the Grand Canyon National Park but instead of parking up in the visitor centre we took the East Rim Drive towards Desert View, and our way out of the National Park.
Considering how tired we were feeling today, it actually made a nice change to be able to drive along here ourselves and just stop and park up at each of the lovely views. It was a much lazier way of seeing the canyon, but we had already done the walking section around the west side, so this was fine with us. Plus, today was incredibly windy and it wouldn't be too enjoyable walking in this all day.
There were some lovely spots to stop at along the drive, and thankfully each them not being too busy so we could easily find a parking space.
At one of the stops were the Tusayan Ruins. This is one of more than 4000 archeological sites within the Grand Canyon National Park. Contruction of the buildings here began around A.D. 1185. As they are ruins, there isn't a huge amount to see here, although it does help to give you some idea how the people would have lived. This is also helped by the small but informative museum located adjacent to the ruins.
We spent a few hours continuing to stop at each of the views along the East Rim Drive. The last one being the Watchtower. Here, a Watchtower stands which had been built in the 1930's to offer a clear view over the canyon. You could walk up to the top and look out of the windows, and a platform outside. There were views over the canyon of course, but also beyond where the canyon ends over the east side and towards the flat desert.
After the Watchtower this would be the end of our time in the Grand Canyon. We got into the motorhome and were soon exiting the National Park. What a fantastic visit it has been.
Originally our next destination after the Grand Canyon was to be Monument Valley. However, while Stu was photographing the sunset yesterday he got chatting to another photographer. He told Stu that it was well worth visiting Antelope Canyon, saying that it was a beautiful thing to photograph. After looking it up on the internet Stu was convinced he wanted to go there. So this morning he booked us on a tour of it tomorrow (you can only go there by guided tour). After leaving the Grand Canyon we headed north up to a place called Page, which is near where Antelope Canyon is located.
The drive was fairly long to get there, well over two hours. Plus, there was a stop along the way at another impressive looking canyon. Not as big as the Grand Canyon (although perhaps this was another part of it, we're not sure) but it was still impressive. This was obviously part of an Indian reservation though, as there were lots of stalls selling Indian arts and crafts. Stu spotted a nice necklace and he bought it for me. I think the old woman struggled in giving us change for a $20 note though - she had to get her daughter to help add it up on her fingers.
The rest of the drive was fairly uneventful, though the scenery most of the way was quite spectacular. There were lots of big ridges and mountains along the way, and you could see snow-capped peaks in the distance. It was a really beautiful drive.
Finally we made it to Page just after the sun had set. We found a decent RV park where we could spend the night, and it was only $20 too.