Arizona 2012 Day 2: the GC !!

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday May 18, 2012

DAY 2. (NOTE: WHEN ANY of the PICS look “distorted”…..click directly on them, I’ve tried to save them ORIGINAL SIZE to get the feeling of grandeur we saw looking over the EDGE…….)…....

We woke up rested wonderfully at Richard & Michael’s Starlight Pines B&B….our hosts invited Homer & Evan over for the brunch, so we all ate a great intro bowl of fresh fruit salad topped with a wonderful custard followed by a baked egg dish I wish I knew how to make. The Starlight’s Living Room is warm and inviting:

That gave us a great early start for the hour drive to see Homer & Evans favorite viewpoint stops for the Grand Canyon, the last one being the big Visitor’s Center. The only point I’ve seen the canyon from 40 years ago was the north side at Lake Havasu. NONE of that memory came close to ANYTHING these fabulous host showed us today. THEY KNOW this country.

Even enroute, we stop at a mere tiny split, fraction, an ancient tributary of the Colorado River and begin our adventure:

and another deeper view:

How this was all under water at some time’s hard to believe, but you can’t argue with the sedimentary layering:

This trip would not have been the same without friends Homer and Evan as our guides, they should have charged us a big fee:

So on to the next viewpoint, the grandeur jumped out from mile deep canyons (CLICK on the picture):

Yes, we began to feel small ((MUST CLICK on pic to get perspective to see correctly):

Soon we came to the Grand Watchtower, a museum / viewing tower built to replicate some ancient structures in ways…it was gorgeous outside AND inside:

The interiors were remarkably well done:

Evan and Mark from inside, top floor window points:

Nice Indian paintings had been done inside as well:

There ARE grand vistas from this place…some reflecting the layering, some the old age of this canyon as shale collapses on a grand scale (Please CLICK on THIS pic to see full scale):

And MORE grand vistas at everywhere:

****AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT………..what a friend! HOMER packed a home-made gourmet picnic lunch he presented at a rest area as we neared the visitor center….THIS was good, stuff, gourmet sandwiches on craft bread, THANKS HOMER:

I will NEVER forget the one stop where a TRAIL leaves from the cliff tops and in 7 miles, reaches the canyon floor. Again, click on this pic, and you will see, faintly, in the distance a trail right on the SIDE of that steep canyon wall….it made me dizzy just looking at it:

When we finally reach the visitors center, the main view point is right here (click):

IT Was at THIS point on this day trip, an experience of a lifetime occurred….at that visitors point…the edge of the cliffs, 12 rare California Condors were flying all around that very point…they were there the whole time we were:

One was only about 40′ down resting on a rock edge…his banding tags clearly showing:

This bird at times, would unfold his wings, spread them out grandly, and pose for a while:

One of the great things at the moment of our visit were the wind uplifts…occasionally the birds would be brought up almost in front of the fencing keeping us from falling into the canyon…it was spectacular, I tell you:

AND we finally return to Flagstaff….a grand meal at the Himalayan Grill. . . tiny family run, excellent food. We rested well that night awaiting our hike tomorrow where? A WETLAND being restored there in the desert? Yes….another grand day out coming.

5 Responses to “Arizona 2012 Day 2: the GC !!”

  1. Urspo says:

    Lovely photos, all of them.

  2. homer says:

    That was an awesome day!

  3. Rain Trueax says:

    Beautiful photos and bring back a lot of fantastic memories. It makes my tummy tighten up though to just see the heights. I love it but when I look down, I feel a sense of fear. Maybe it’s the majesty of it all.

  4. robin andrea says:

    Your photos are incredibly excellent! Truly spectacular shots. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, but now I definitely want to go. WOW!

  5. Cousin Nancy says:

    Wow is not even close. What spectacular photos — and that condor! Amazing!

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