Thursday, November 5, 2009

31st October 2009

Enroute to Flagstaff we decided to do an unscheduled stop and headed to The Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park in Arizona. The Painted Desert is a smaller version of the Badlands, but it's still worth a visit as it has its own identity.
Continuing through the park you come to The Petrified Forest. At first, it just looks like sawn tree trunks lying upon the ground until you get up close and you realise they are solid rock. It is so uncanny, as you can see all the layers underneath the bark just like in a tree. Evidently, the petrification of the trees occurred due to water which contained a high percentage of silica soaking into the wood over a long period of time and turned them to stone.

After getting lost for over an hour trying to find our hotel in Flagstaff (the road signs are non-existent) we finally went to bed ready for our visit to Grand Canyon the next day. After a good nights sleep we arose early and headed to Grand Canyon.

What can you say about Grand Canyon, only that it is every bit as good as what people who have seen it said it was. The vista was magnificent and the views unparalleled, we decided to walk along the South Rim of the canyon, (about 6 miles) passing the Hopi House (a copy of a true Indian house) that is used as a tourist gift shop to the Blue Angel Lodge. The paths are paved and it is really safe to walk along, and there are lots of lookouts to take photos from if you don't mind the long drop to the bottom of the canyon. To get to the furthest point we took the free shuttle bus that took us the rest of the way to Hermits Rest.

After something to eat we then drove eastwards towards Desert View, this is the best side to get a view of the Colorado River that runs through the canyon. Even though the Colorado is a large river it is hard to pick it out from the main viewing points. The Indian Watchtower is also situated here and after looking around the tower we sat down and awaited the sun to set. The Watchtower like some of the other buildings in the canyon was designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter. The interior walls and ceilings are decorated with original Hopi Indian drawings painted by Fred Kabotie a genuine Hopi Indian artist, this is not to be missed.

Finally, the sun set and Tony took his final photo of Grand Canyon. After a long exhausting, exhilarating and memorable 12 hours we headed back to Flagstaff.

PS: If you are looking for pictures of the Glass Skywalk you are out of luck, it is 250 miles away, 5 hours drive, nearer to Las Vegas, it is privately owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe.

1 comment:

  1. Seeing the Grand Canyon was spectacular, thank you for sharing! Living in the U.S. and also Utah all these years and not to have been to see the Grand Canyon,boy, I've really missed out!
    You tour ist tas, as Curt says, are looking good too!