Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day 59: Grand Canyon

All photos of the Grand Canyon available on Flickr.

Yesterday we noticed on the atlas that the Grand Canyon was only about 90 miles out of our way to Albuquerque, so we decided to make a stop on the way to Ben's house. In keeping with our tradition of seeing "World's longest/tallest/biggest" things in our spare time, we just couldn't pass up seeing the world's biggest canyon. We left Scottsdale around 11 AM and hit the road to the north.

It was definitely worth the drive. I had flown over it before, but until you get there and see it in person, you don't really realize how big of a hole it really is. The canyon expands as far as the eye can see in all directions and there are many vantage points to park the car along the way and take it all in. We were coming from the south, so we of course visited the south rim. The Grand Canyon is a protected landscape as part of Grand Canyon National Park, so the downside, as with most national parks, is that you have to pay an entry fee. I'm all for supporting the preservation of nature, but $25 was a little steep. Granted it was a one week pass, but they should offer some sort of hourly rate or something. We stopped at two lookout points once inside the park. At the first one, Erik and I immediately noticed that there was a large portion of the canyon that was not fenced off, so we took that opportunity to descend the canyon (at least as far as we could without grappling hooks and boots) and got some awesome photos. The second lookout we stopped at was the main tourist area on the southeastern entry to the park. It contained a large visitor center, bookstore, gift shop, and cafe, from which we acquired Grand Canyon souvenir cups. There was also an old Native American watchtower there that we ascended and got some good views of the canyon. After leaving the watchtower, Erik went wandering down the canyon to get some more photos, while I stayed behind, perched on a rock that jutted over the canyon and sat in awe of God's magnificent landscape.

We have seen a lot of cool stadiums and great games, but beyond our love of baseball, seeing all the new cities and amazing sights like we did today make the 16000+ miles of driving all worth it for me. We arrived at Ben's house around 11:30. I haven't seen my old roommate in nearly two years and I look forward to catching up with him tomorrow.

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