Grand Canyon Whirlwind Trip

With my nephews and ex-sister-in-law along for the ride, I recently completed a 38 hour trip from Tucson to the Grand Canyon!

We started at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday and stayed on the interstates to make good time, but took scenic 89A through Sedona to Slide Rock State Park for a more leisurely pace and a lunch stop:

The state park is famous for it’s super popular swimming hole. We had a lunch of fresh fruit, bread, cold cuts, potato salad on a picnic table under an apple tree about to bloom;  the park  is located on an old homestead with an apple orchard. One of the trees is a century old, which is quite remarkable in this state:

Unfortunately, it looks like bark beetles have gotten to it:

Highway 89A climbs out of Oak Creek Canyon (what you see in the distance, below) …..

…and ends in Flagstaff. We spent the night in Williams, Arizona, just west of Flagstaff; and the next morning we took the tourist train–the Grand Canyon Railway–for a day trip to the Grand Canyon. The train has goofy tourist stuff like folks in cowboy costume playing bad music for tips; they walk up and down the carriage cars. It’s perfect for those who have a) little time and b) small children and c) a budget.

Obviously, the Grand Canyon is an archetypal image of not just the American West, but of what we think constitutes an awe-inspiring natural landscape. So, in short, there are plenty of photos out there of the Grand Canyon and most folks can readily call an image (albeit a likely weak and inadequate one) to mind.

This can help jog your memory, or improve your mental stock photos:

I was impressed that on a very busy day–we were there during peak Spring Break traffic, which several park service employees told me rivaled peak summer traffic–we could walk a few miles  along the 14 mile Rim Trail and easily find many spots where we easily could  sit down, undisturbed, and quietly watch the enormous panorama before us:

This a great shot of my nephew Sebastian, not just because it’s the Grand Canyon, but because he’s a teenager….and he’s smiling!

This morning we were all in a just a minor state of recovery from getting home late. My mom and my brother Eric came by today for lunch; here we all are, it’s so much fun to eat and talk together!

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon before and am already looking forward to my next trip. What a blast!

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