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America – Arizona: The Grand Canyon

America – Arizona: The Grand Canyon

Happy to leave Las Vegas, we set off early on our four and a half hour drive to the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Not a huge amount to report en-route – it was mostly us blasting along on highways! We occupied our attention with amazing views pretty much all the way:

Lake Mead

Lake Mead

Neat rocks

Rocks getting more Monument Valley-ish

Desolate wasteland

Desolate wasteland

At one point we were running low on gas, and heading in to a desert this isn’t the greatest situation. As soon as we saw a gas station we pulled across to it – relief! As I eased us up to the pump I took more stock of the surroundings, and we’d pulled in to an independent, barking mad pub/roswell/aliens/guns sort of spot. The gas was obscenely expensive too – $3.99 a gallon! Obscene by American standards of course, I still think it’s Christmas at the pump. It’s about 90 US cents a litre for 91 octane here – even less if you want 87 but I’m too kind to the car.

Refuelled, we pulled back across the road and promptly passed a proper gas station selling for way cheaper – such is life. Later in the drive we stopped at a nice wee roadhouse and had some amazing wraps. I bet you’re glued to your screen reading this drivel – let’s move on!

We had booked a helicopter flight over the grand canyon for the afternoon, and we arrived a bit early. We thought we’d explore on foot first, but as we neared the village, signs said there was no parking and to take the shuttle bus. We figured we hadn’t the time so settled for waiting about at the airport – but the chap on the desk got us on the next flight instead – and the front seats too!

Our ride

Our ride

Excited Kate!

Excited Kate!

So, in we jump and off we go, low over the tree tops. After a bit of this, we could see the canyon off to our left – just out of reach. Then the pilot says – ‘OK, you want to see it?’ we all shouted ‘yes!’ Through the intercom came the 2001:Space Odyssey theme a moment, and then – right on cue – we passed over the cliff edge and there we were – flying over the Grand Canyon. Holy shitballs! It was incredible – I’ll leave explaining that to Kate:

Grand Canyon!

Grand Canyon!

I shed a tear of amazement as we fly over. The picture above – any picture, really – will never do justice to the incredible beauty and sheer enormity of the spectacle. It is unfathomable. Ancient, beyond comprehension (save for the scientific explanation – boring!) and truly magnificent – there is no end to the superlatives one could use. We are lucky, lucky people to live on an earth so glorious and rich in splendid sights. The millions of years, the shifting plates, and the river cutting its way down have all left an indelible mark on the landscape; it’s done the same for me. Forty five minutes isn’t enough but, then again, it is (especially as I’ve been queasy since take off!). That first glance will never be recreated. I am changed, if only minutely, by the glory of creation. 

Yep, it sure was pretty cool.

More!

More!

More!

More!

And one more

And one more.

Returning to the airport, we had time to visit the Grand Canyon Village. But it was another hour on our journey, and we didn’t think the views would measure up to what we’d just experienced. So we took off, arriving at our homestay just out of Flagstaff. Awesome chap, awesome dog, lovely home – a good night in. Amazing day.

Great trip – but man we’re getting tired!

Larry's a 30-something chap interested in travel, being a dork and changing the world via less boring training.

1 Comment

  1. Thunderbolt · June 25, 2015 Reply

    I like the photos.

    Of the helicopter. The canyon is cool, too, though.

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