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Published: December 6th 2015
R: Now, this is the part of the trip which I did before I met Cate, but in reverse. We're trying to do it in a little bit of a different way this time so it's fresh for both of us. We entered the Grand Canyon NP via the East entrance which comes past the desert view lookout tower which affords you a great first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. I asked Cate what she thought of it at that moment and she said "I thought it would be steeper". I guess after seeing so many amazing landscapes in such quick succession, it's easy to get blasé about these things - and we both have.
As we drove round the views got more and more impressive as we saw it from different angles and we got a better view of the Colorado river. The expanse is pretty amazing and it's when you start putting figures on it that the scale of it sinks in. We had a really decent hotel on a special deal in Tusayan (the dormitory town for the Grand Canyon) so we made the most of it and enjoyed the bar - we realised we haven't been
out past 8pm much recently - and the pool.
Next day we did some more of the viewpoints around the rim, and did a bit of the rim trail and geology visitor centres. I have often wondered on this trip whether I should have switched to Geology when I was given the chance at uni... Both being fought back by illness, we decided to have a nana nap in the afternoon. But then we headed out for sunset at Mohave point , which was incredible and lasted over an hour.. After heading out for our second night of chain fast food (all we could afford in this overpriced little town - and even McDs had a sign up saying they apologised for being more expensive here) we were back at the bar to watch the Green Bay packers take an incredibly tense match.
The next morning, we decided not to do any more hiking and went to the IMAX for a 30 min film about the Canyon which was quite kitch, but a bit interesting, then headed to something called "Bearizona" which was on our way out of the area - I'll let Cate tell you more below.
That night we ended up staying on part of the Route 66 at Kingman, having already driven through Williams - another town on the route. Where we stayed was a vintage 60s motel with the worlds longest Route 66 map on the outer walls, and film memorabilia on the inside walls. You could choose your room according to your favourite 60s icon - so given the choice, Cate went for Marilyn Monroe - and we weren't disappointed...
C: Between the canyon and Kingman is a wildlife park called Bearizona. Having not seen any bears yet on the trip, we decided to cheat a bit and visit the park hoping that it would do what it said on the tin. Woohoo! Loads of bears! It was like a safari park so you drove through most of it and the animals had a lot of space. Quite a few of the bears were sleeping but others were patrolling, eating and even climbing trees! It's quite amazing how something so big and heavy can shimmy up a relatively thin tree in a matter of seconds! We also saw juvenile bears up close in the walk through section and these were gorgeous. It
wasn't the wild but at least I've had my fill of bears!!
After dinner in Denny's, it was off to Vegas the next morning.
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