Monday, August 8, 2011

The Grand Canyon

Our last tour of our trip was The Grand Canyon. We took a 10-hr tour in a comfy, air-conditioned Mercedes Van with a very educated tour guide, Carl. I'd have to say, next time, I'm going to pass on any tour longer than 5 hours. The Pink Jeep Tour we took was 2 hours, and that was too short. Would have loved to drive around longer in that thing- the views and up-close-and-personal red rocks were gorgeous, plus the off-road ride was so awesome! I expected a little bit more twists, turns and steep hills at higher speeds, but I was the only person on the tour under 40.

Anyway, back to the GC tour...Yes, beautiful and gorgeous, but way too long. They try to keep it interesting with stops along the way, but then it became stops of different views of the Grand Canyon, and eventually, all of my pictures looked the same. Dad and I had the backseat of the van, and most often, fell asleep once we hopped back in from a stop. Beware also, if you get seasick or carsick, take medication for it. We had a great driver, but I could see how some people could get dizzy and sick. Speaking of our tour guide/driver...I honestly couldn't believe how long this guy talked! It was like a tape recorder of Grand Canyon rock history, people history, rock formation, Native American history, every kind of history you can think of, dating back to 1200 BC. And it was to the point where you couldn't carry on a real conversation with the guy. He just had everything memorized! Of course, he did say to interrupt him and ask questions whenever, but it was difficult to just talk to him about anything else. He would go on about some history, we'd stop, look at the view, we'd get back in the van, and he'd carry on like he didn't miss a beat! Those guys must be Type A personality, because I don't know how he stayed awake on a long drive, repeating the same ol' thing day after day, especially when some of your cargo is fast asleep!

Now, don't let me stop from seeing the magnificence of The Grand Canyon. I do believe everyone must see it- it is gorgeous and scary at the same time. They say many people either fall off, jump off, or drive off every year. It's a LONG way down, and there aren't many fences to stop people. If you're scared of heights, like me, just stay back behind the fenced part! At one of our stops along the GC, there was an emergency and rescue team trying to get a lady who had fell down. I don't think it was far down, but just the thought of it was frightening enough.

To look down and see what the Earth and God has built, is ultimately spectacular. Everyone must see it at least once in their lifetime. For me, though, once was enough ;)

My favorite part of the tour was one of the first stops, which was a Navajo Reservation with booths selling lots of one-of-a-kind traditional jewelry with real turquoise! I wish we had known about this earlier in our trip! After going to the touristy spot of Sedona all week, called Uptown Sedona, with small little boutiques and shops selling "real" turquoise and souvenirs, I wish I had saved my money! The jewelry at the Navajo Reservation is made by real Navajo Tribes, and it is all gorgeous, believe me! I kicked myself thousands of times after going there and seeing what they have to offer at HALF THE PRICE! I suggest coming here if you're a jewelry lover like myself. Definitely worth the drive.

Other than that, the tour has lots of interesting stops and when you're up and not sleeping, the tour guide has some real good history to learn about. I didn't know, but the GC Park actually has a community of its own. There's a school, grocery store, village, church, lodges, etc etc. Because if you realize it, the park is hours away from real civilization! Interesting eh?

For me, I realized I needed my city-girl lifestyle back ;)

A natural Artesian Well with Spring Water that never turns off.
Our first stop.
We filled up water bottles for the trip here.
Dad and I were suspicious and just drank our own bottled water HAH.

This guy had a whole trunk full of those cartons filled up with water.
I guess if you trust the water, then go ahead, it's FREE.

The water never turns off and just drains back into the rocks.

A tower where you can walk up to get an even greater view.
Beware- no air conditioning. IT IS HOT UP THERE!

The art is gorgeous.

Scary...a big crack in the tower...

The ceiling art.

Lightning struck a woman days before we were there!

Our pimp Mercedes Van!

Duck Rock

On the ride home. Lots of wildlife in the Park!

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