19
Nov
12

Day trip to Grand Canyon South Rim

Somehow I found myself in Arizona US again this year… with 1 weekend to spare and alone… so what do I do with myself? Well, sure I am happy to go on a day trip out somewhere, have to freedom to pick the spot and time to go, what to eat and when to be back… 🙂

At the ring of Indian tribes. Traces of red Indian culture and habitats are prominent in the canyons.

1st off, buy myself a new camera… always believe that bigger lens results in better pictures. So got myself a Nikon Coolpix L810. Big lens, semi compact, not too heavy around the neck. Would like to get back into real SLR photography someday, but its just too troublesome to lug one around…

Early morning at Yavapai lookout point.

0300hrs, on the move, as planned. Rum spiced coffee by my side, bags of chips on the passenger seat… grabbed 1 pillow from the hotel, made myself comfy for the 4hrs drive to the Grand Canyon village on the South Rim. Fingers crossed, that I will get there around sunrise.

Scaled mockup of the Canyons.

Despite Nuvi’s greatest effort to keep me on track, I still made 2 wrong turns. Was 0730hrs when I was parked at the visitors centre. But anyway, here I am and what next? I have not done any research and know not what to expect or what to do… I knew it be cold, but -5degC…? And I am wearing my long shorts and fleece over my t-shirt plus long sleaves hiking shirt…

Seating in car, reading the visitors info and map that came with the US$25 park entry fee. Maybe it will warm just a little bit as the sun comes up… Oh wow, so I can leave the car parked and go around on the shuttle… I didnt know that..

Me, myself at the edge.

0745hrs, pushing myself to crawl out from the relative warmth of the car… Was feeling okay for the 1st couple of minutes… afterthat I felt tightness in my lungs and strange pain in the chest… am I having a heart attack!? I thot that for a moment, but nah, its just the body acclimatising. Was okay after 5 mins. Guess it woulda helped if I stick around the car and did some stretching to warm up those muscles and lungs..

0800hrs, short walk to the Yavapai point. Look at all those people that are here already… none so silly as me.. no one in shorts that is…

How about a ride over to the North Rim..

Yes, this is just what I came to experience, sunrise at the Grand Canyons. Taking in the very cool thin air, enjoying the view. With no real plans of what to do, I just let the body decides on whatever it feels like doing… and my feet just decided to go rim trail walking…

I thot it be nice to have a picture of me by the edge and the canyons beyond… travelling alone makes it abit difficult, but its okay, I can manage. Find a spot, set the camera on rocks, set timer and place myself in the picture.. snap… check the results… usually I have to repeat a few times to get it just right.

Straight down solid wall…

After couple of hours, I got to the village … the centre of food and gift shops.. not hungry, but load up with gifts. Decided to take the shuttle and drop off these stuff at the car.. and then got back out again to the shuttle back to the village.

Looking back at the Grand Canyon Village and Bright Angel trailhead. Its a long way down….

Continued walking from the Kolb lookout studio to the more remote trail further to the west, but I could only manage 2km. By then, my toes were killing me. Havent been wearing these walking shoes for so long, I dun remember that they cause my toes to rub up each other and blister. My biggest mistake was that I didnt change out of my walking shoes into my more comfy crocs at the car…

1 hour before sunset. Thats all I can manage for today

Ok, less walking, more taking the shuttle. By now, its around 15hrs… am I going to stick around for sunset…? Maybe if my toes were not hurting so much… but I am tired… afterall, I did set off at 0300hrs. .. and I am looking at 5hrs driving before I can rest…

These grass are frost resistant… They take the cold better that I did. Did the Indians use this for salad?

Quite intrigue with the red Indian heritage… afterall, they were the 1st people in N.America and they are of Asian origins… wait… was it the Mayans that were here 1st? .. Nah, the Asians did come 1st, either by way of Siberian over the land bridge in 11000BC Ice age or the polynesians by claw sailboats 12500BC… The Mayans did not date back beyond 5000BC.  Things that I have not learn in this trip, but I am going to know this before my next.  

1600hrs, back at the car, changed into my crocs. Sun is setting, I am driving away with the last of daylight. Altho tired, somehow I manage to stay awake at the wheel all the way back.. I had a really good day!

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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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