Thursday, 2 July, 2015
We got out early and drove to Grand Canyon National Park, stopping at Desert View and a few overlooks on the way to Grand Canyon village. We checked at Mather campground for openings, but they were full, so we drove straight to Ten-X campground in Kaibab National Forest, where we set up in a nice campsite. We ate lunch before driving back to the park, hoping the long lines at the entrance had thinned out some. They had.
Our first stop was the main visitor center to pick up a Jr. Ranger book for Jenna, then we drove to some more of the eastern overlooks. We worked our way back to the village before 4:00 and went to a Jr. Ranger Program to complete the requirements for Jenna's Jr. Ranger badge.
Back at the campground, Jenna made friends with a little boy across the street. We all enjoyed watching the 3 large bull elk grazing around the campground.
Friday, 3 July
We beat the crowds at the entrance gate and then parked at the Market Square, where we caught the
shuttle out to Bright Angel Trail, where we caught the westbound shuttle that stops at the western overlooks. There was a long line for the westbound shuttles, and we probably had to wait for 4 or 5 shuttles to fill and leave before we could board. The crowds thinned, though, as we got off and on the different shuttles on the way to Hermit's Rest, the last overlook. I will say, though, that English was not the most common language spoken on the shuttles.
The canyon was gorgeous, as always, and not quite as hazy as yesterday. The biggest surprise was the color of the Colorado River down in the bottom of the canyon. Usually it is green in color, but today it was muddy chocolate brown. The temps today were not as hot as yesterday and the crowds not as bad as we feared, but we were still happy to get back to the camper by 2:00 and just relax.
We again watched the 3 big elk grazing nearby. They are not in the least bothered by people; Kerry says they know they're safe from hunters there. One of them was lying down
and stood up and seemed to pose while I was taking his picture. We also saw a couple of Aberts squirrels, with their long ears and white tails.
Saturday, 4 July
Today we left the canyon, driving south to Williams, AZ, then east on I-40, which will be our route most of the way home. It was cloudy all day with dark clouds and rain all around. Yet we only drove through a few showers.
We are back on Daylight Savings Time now that we are in New Mexico. We have stopped for the night in Cedar Crest, NM, so we are almost halfway across New Mexico.
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