Seeing friends and family was just part of our recent trip to the Southwest. Another highlight was spending a whole day exploring just a tiny bit of the Grand Canyon. After we left Durango, we headed to Flagstaff, AZ, our jumping off place. Enroute, we passed Shiprock, one of the great landmarks of our desert country. We tried to imagine the pioneers seeing it without today's roads and telephone wires.
Upon the advice of Nancy's friend, Bill, we took the less traveled East Entrance and were glad he suggested it. Our first stop was Desert View where there is this amazing Watchtower that was built in the 1930's.
Looking carefully at other stops along the way, we could still see the tower.
Same tower, a few miles away
We stopped frequently to enjoy the view until we reached Mather Point where we decided to walk a ways along the Rim Trail.
We had to look carefully to see the Colorado River which is about ten miles below. From above it's hard to believe that this river, which starts in the Rocky Mountains and flows all the way to the Gulf of California, carved this magnificent canyon.
A bend in the Colorado River
On our heavily traveled trail, we didn't see too many four-legged animals. We did see a gentleman feeding this rock squirrel despite many warnings that medics often treat 30 squirrel bites a day. I guess they have pretty sharp teeth and don't hesitate to use them!
We saw a number of folks risking life and limb by walking out on the edge of rocks with no railings, all for the sake of a picture or two. And then there was the guy tossing rocks over the edge, unmindful of people who may have been hiking below. (I don't mean to be critical but do have a hard time understanding such folly. Guess it's my age showing....)
Can you see the "brave" person?
Once in a while I can catch Dick on "film". And yes, he was in front of the wall!
Apparently the raven is the most common bird of the Grand Canyon. He's much larger than the crows that frequent our backyard.
We have several friends who've hiked down into the canyon so were quite excited to see the trail far below as well as the suspension bridge across the river. That sounds like a really tough hike as the way back out is all uphill! Ten miles UP!
Trail and bridge
A kind woman saw us struggling to take a timed photo of the two of us and offered to help. We were able to return the favor to another much younger couple on down the trail. We only walked as far as the Yavapai Observation station where Dick took the bridge picture, and we realized that was as far as our day's trek would take us.
While we barely scratched the surface of this beautiful place, it was a fun way to end our trip. From Flagstaff we headed back to Phoenix, had a great visit with our long ago neighbors, the Lamms, and flew back to the blessedly cool weather of the Northwest.