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USA – Road Trip – Grand Canyon – 23rd / 24th October

We were up fairly early, enjoyed our usual breakfast; fruit, cereal and yoghurt, packed up the tent and our belongings and set off on the next part of our journey. It took around 5 hours to reach the South Rim of the Grand Canyon with a few stops along the way. Our route from Zion took us out of the north exit of Zion National Park, along the 89 and 89a to  rejoin the 89 and exit onto the 64 which took us straight towards the Grand Canyon Village. We noticed many native American stalls on the road side as we drove, of which over half were empty, a sign of the times.

Our first stop at the Canyon was along the East Rim Drive at Desert View. We had lunch and took in our first proper views of the canyon in the Watchtower, a building built to fit in with the landscape… kind of! Inside are some really interesting wall murals and to be fair the views were amazing. Moving on from Desert View we made our way to the Mather Campground where we had booked to camp for 2 nights at $18 per night.

After setting up the tent we drove out to Pipe Creek Vista and picked up the yellow shuttle bus to Yaki Point. We stayed here until the sun set, photographed, meditated and joined in with the fellow onlookers. The canyon turned from red, to yellow to blue over the course of time. On our way back we picked up some supplies for dinner at the Market Plaza and then enjoyed our first showers in 3 days!

The following morning we were up early and ready for a hike. We had looked into a few options for hikes down into the canyon and knew that making it to the canyon floor in a day and back out again was out of the question (and not advised by the rangers). So we looked at day options and chose the Hermit’s Rest trail so we could enjoy the views and hike without so many tourists. This time we drove into the village and took the red bus shuttle to Hermits Rest. The trail down is steep and we would only recommend it if you have some hiking experience. In the heat and at this time of year we were still advised to take more water and food than normal. It took around an hour and a half to reach the Santa Maria spring where we logged into the trail book, enjoyed some rest and then continued for a further mile before having lunch and making our way back up. It actually took less than we had anticipated at around 4 hours total hike but again it was steep and getting back up out of the canyon was tough. We endeavor to come back and do a 3 day hike down into the canyon floor and out again sometime in the future!!

Not satisfied with the 7′ish miles we continued to walk along the rim for a further 5 before getting back to the car in the village. This was to be our last night of camping in America, so we enjoyed more camp food, showers and an episode of Peep Show (we have been religiously watching and downloading all series since we have travelled!).

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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One Comment

  1. Posted 16 Nov ’11 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Love these. My favourite shot is the yucca plant, believe it or not.

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