National Parks Road Trip Day 3-4
Grand canyon

When I say the Grand Canyon is on my bucket list you have to understand for how long it has been there, Remember when the Brady Bunch was on at primetime? Most of you cannot - but the day that episode aired in 1971 I was mesmerized and few days went buy since that I did not want to make this trip. After all these year the canyon was still there... waiting.

We arrived just before sunset and chose to set up our camp at the X-Ten Campground while we still had enough light. This beautiful camping area in the Kabib National Forest is just over 8 miles from the main gate and currently costs ten dollars per night. Turns out this was a great choice for us as the spaces are large and spread out providing excellent opportunity for restful evenings.

After a quick set up we headed out only to see cars stopped les than 1/4 mile away - there were elk on the roadside and my heart stopped! Two beautiful young males we sparing (mating season is starting here) just a few nudges here and there but what a sight! Just about a hundred yards past them a lone majestic male. was grazing providing an excellent opportunity for photos. After a few minutes we had to leave this encounter - it was getting dark and I really wanted to see the canyon!

We drove through the town of Tusayan - they have everything you could ever need there the elk even were enjoying the grazing near McDonalds! After a few more miles there was the main gate. We gathered our maps and information and headed to the main visitors center. This park is huge! We missed the sunset and then got turned around finding our way beck to camp....I was frustrated. Al we cold do is wait for morning and avoid the many elk on the road heading back to camp.

We drifted off to sleep to the sounds of elk bugling in the distance and coyotes singing. I was a very peaceful evening and one I will not soon forget.

We were up and out early  - after a quick stop at the visitors center our first view of the canyon was from Mather Point. There are no words to describe this...sorry folks, you just have to see it to understand. After a while we headed to the shuttles. This is the most convenient way to see the largest portion of the canyon. The shuttle system is amazing, we never moved our vehicle all day. The crowds were not bad as we missed peak season. We bused and hiked the rim trail out to Hermits Rest and back then had a quick lunch at the café before taking another shuttle out to Yaki Point. It is amazing how as the day progresses ad the lighting changes how the views of the canyon change.

After a quick picnic dinner we went for a sunset walk with the ranger and about 70 others. The program was fantastic! (More in a future blog - were burning daylight right now). What a day to remember! We met people from all over the world and saw an amazing rainbow over the canyon, a perfect sunset and weather.

The next day we headed out to the North Rim and Zion. but that is for another blog. Sorry all...but nature is calling and there is no wi-fi out here!