Grand Canyon Adventure, Fifth of July, 2015

Sorry for the late entry, but I decided to leave the laptop in Williams rather than lug it up to Grand Canyon Village.

So, we got up about 7am, repacked our essentials for the overnite in the GC, dropped our bags in the lobby, then headed to breakfast.  The pasta bar was replaced by an omelette bar, and there was pretty much what you would expect from a breakfast buffet.  Except that, once again, the staff were just outstanding.  The lady making omelettes and the waitress both just talked and engaged with the kids and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. 
At 9am there was a Wild West Show - pretty hokey, but, you know...live horses and cowboys and enough gunfire and killing to make it fun.
Then it was time to board the train.  I had us booked in the Pullman Car, a restored 1923 coach originally used on commuter trains from San Jose to San Francisco.  It was cool, from a historical train buff perspective, and the seats were reversible, so we could flip one row and the 4 of us could face each other, BUT...no air conditioning (the windows open), and less leg room than Spirit Air...so, yeah...after two hours it wasn't as much fun as you'd think.  But, again, the staff was great, and they had some entertainment in the form of a strolling guitar player who ranged from "Don't Fence Me In" to "People Are Strange" and "Eleanor Rigby".  So that was cool.  And Marshall Tucker came thru telling bad jokes and paying special attention to all the kids onboard.
We got to GCV and strolled along the Rim Trail from the depot to the Maswik Lodge and checked in.  The best part was having our backpacks in the room when we got there.  Maswik is a nice enough hotel, sprawling over several acres, and a little more Spartan than the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, but it's just a couple minutes from the rim and the Bright Angel Trailhead.  After a spot of lunch at the Bright Angel restaurant (a pretty good, if overpriced, restaurant right on the Rim) we headed down in to the canyon.  It's an easy enough trail, but for the lack of oxygen here at 7000'.  I never noticed it on my previous trips...must be getting old.  Our goal was the 3 Mile Station (little side note:  all distances are "as the crow flies" so multiply by 3 or 4 to get the actual distance over ground).  We were almost there when the lowering clouds finally burst open.  So we decided to try and get back to an overhang we had passed a mile back.  Those of you who haven't experienced a western summer thunderstorm may not be able to appreciate just how much water we're talking about here.  The plus side is that the ground is so dry it soaks in before getting too muddy.  And it does cool you off and feel good the first couple minutes.  But when visibility drops to 10 feet or so, and you're on a switchback trail with 1000+ foot drops, hurrying is not an option. Not that hurrying was an option for me anyway, seeing as how there's no oxygen and I was mouth breathing like a caught fish already.
So, even though the rain was intermittent, by the time we got back up we were soaked right thru to the socks and underwear.  We managed  to draggle ourselves back to the room for hot showers and a change of clothes, but the rain kind of put a damper on the afternoon.  So we watched TV until dinner time, when, of course, the rain stopped. 
We decided on pizza at the Maswik's food court.  Surprisingly good.  Then a quick stop at the gift shop, and back to the room.  I dropped off about 10pm.  No idea when the kids finally went to sleep.

And that was our day.  I'll have much more to post tomorrow, as we had a much more exciting day today.

Ciao for now, my friends!

p.s. there are a ton of pics on my FB page at www.facebook.com/daveholmantravel

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing. Your post is awaiting moderation.