Grand as in Canyon

Published: July 28th 2016
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14 July 2016

Well I was standin' on the corner of Winslow Arizona. Such a fine sight to see. There's a girl my Lord in a flat bed Ford, slowin' down to take a look at me. Take it eeee eeasy. . Take it eeee eeasy. Love that Eagles song.

Yes. ROUTE 66. We left Intersate 40 and headed into town. We stood on the corner in Winslow. Had an ice cream from the 1950's parlour and headed out of town. This is just about all there is to see. The town set up the corner as a tourist attraction

After an approx 7 hour drive we arrived in Flagstaff. We are here for 3 nights. We like putting down roots here for a whole 3 days. . The heat continues to follow us,105- 110f during the day. 40-42c But it's dry heat, right!?!

15 July 2016 Today we drive to Sedona National Park and town of same name. It is on our list of must see and do. We do a Pink Jeep Tour and go off roading into the mountains. Here is the white line
Glen Frey in Winslow Arizona Glen Frey in Winslow Arizona Glen Frey in Winslow Arizona

of rock that cyclists (aka crazy people) ride along.

Slide Rock is a natural rock formation that has been worn through the valley. The place is packed with families, teenagers, tourists. Perfect for a hot day. The water is quite cold about 46 degrees/ 12 c. to be exact, to climb into but once in and sliding along the 100m approx rocky slide it is a cool relief from the hot day. A bumpy ride and a few bruises later is great fun. We stay a few hours and head back. The slide runs about the length of a football field/100m where it deposits you into a small pool. Families pack the river and everyone is having a good time, including us and Frangie

16 July 2016

Up at 4am. We are on our way to see the Grand Canyon by air this morning arriving at 6:30 and seeing a large elk grazing right next to the McDonalds. Our first large animal siting.

Up up and away. We get a single engine plane and once again, Angie gets to sit in the co-pilot's seat. How does she do that, she just asks, can I sit up front? The flight is good and the smoke from the North Rim fire fills the air. The wind is going in the opposite direction so we have views of the canyon that are spectacular. Our flight takes us to Page, Az and the North Rim, where we tour the Antelope Canyon, one of the most photographed places because of the rock formations and light coming through cracks in the rocks.

We continue the day with a float down the Colorado River,beginning at Glen Canyon Dam and we meandering down river for a couple of hours taking in the beauty of the area. The day ends with a long bus ride back to the Grand Canyon airport, a 14 hour day well spent.

17 July 2016 We leave our home of 3 of nights and head to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We arrive around lunch time and take in some sights until we can check into the Bright Angel Lodge. Situated a few metres/yards from the edge of the canyon. The fire is still burning on the north rim and the flames can be seen as we sit and watch the sunset.

18 July 2016 OMG WTF What was I thinking day has arrived for Francine. Angie is fine.

The long anticipated day has arrived and we meet our mules early in the morning. Francine is having to hide her fear of heights as they may not let her go if she admits to it. She is being very brave but shaking on the inside with a little nervous stomach going on. We receive a long lecture and finally get to mount our mules. Angie is hooked up with Ike and Francine is with Blanche.

Angie is enjoying every minute and every beautiful view of the canyon as we go down the steep switchback trail. However the 5 hour trip with a lunch break and two other breaks do little to ease the aching joints in the hips and knees. Walking now takes some practice to put everything back into place.

We eventually make it to the bottom and its so hot and we are exhausted we can barely make it to our cabin. When we do all we want is to take a nap and rest. Taking a shower has to wait a little longer. Once revived we feel better and ready for dinner. The meal is all you can eat family style with a huge strip steak, stuffed baked potato, salad, corn, peas, corn bread and chocolate cake for dessert.

Off to bed and a good nights sleep for our journey out of the grand canyon tomorrow.

19 July 2016 The journey out is easier on us than the mules, so we stop often for them to rest. The views are just as spectacular as they were going down. We come up a different way and it is regarded as the inner canyon and there is no water supply on this trail making it one of the least traveled routes only one percent of hikers ever see this part of the canyon.

Francine says: Such an amazing experience. The most mentally challenging thing I have done. To trust the mule to have control at the edge of 1 metre / 3ft wide tracks with shear drops to the base. Hyperventilating for part of the way down and back up Those views certainly took my breath away. In more than one way. I could not look out over the edge when it was a shear drop to the bottom of the canyon. I kept looking back at the wall of the canyon. Each time we stopped to rest the mules of check out the view, the mules were to face out towards the canyon. Ugh I broke out into a sweat and turned away. It was exhillararting but so exhausting as I was putting all my energy into staying calm and controlled and focused. So so glad I did this though. Just a beautiful beautiful place.

We are now in the 1% of visitors to the canyon and who ride the mules. Check out the photos, they show the drop to the base but not the extreme heights we were at. We were not supposed to take photos when riding as were supposed to be holding on with both hands.

We leave our mules all dusty and dirty, tired and hot but we have no time to clean up cause we need to be in Vegas tonight. We pack up and drive out of the Grand Canyon and about an hour away stop for lunch. Just happen to stop at Williams Az on Rt. 66. This town is really set back in the 50's and we enjoy a smokey barbecue at a quaint outdoor restaurant for some good food. Now once again on the road to Vegas.

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