October 28, 2018

Grand Canyon & Williams, AZ

Monday, September 17, 2018
Grand Canyon to Williams, Arizona
Distance: 77 miles
Campground: Grand Canyon Railway RV Park
Cost per Night: $28 (with Passport America)
Duration: 1
Weather: Sunny and warm

We got a decent start to our day, but didn't hit the road until after 10:00. Our original plan was to stay one more night and drive to Sedona from the Grand Canyon, but we liked the looks of Williams as we passed through on our way to the canyon, so we made reservations at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park for Monday night. It shaved an hour or so off our travel time to Sedona and gave us a chance to explore Williams (and tackle some laundry!).

So, off we went, but first things first. Several friends recommended a beautiful view of the canyon from Shoshone Point and I didn't want to miss it. There isn't any signage for the point along the road, but I found directions online. It's just west of mile marker 245 or 1.2 miles east of Yaki viewpoint. Hoping for a peaceful and uncrowded experience, I was thankful to see only a couple of cars in the small dirt parking area at the trailhead. 

The hike is two miles round trip, but the path is pretty rocky and uneven so it took us longer than anticipated. We really didn't mind, though, since it was such a beautiful day. There are lots of pretty clearings with lots of green grass and the sky was bright blue with just a few clouds. We eventually made it to the point and took in our immediate surroundings. Apparently, you can reserve the grounds for large events such as reunions, birthday celebrations, and weddings (or even a private renewal of vows). There are several covered picnic tables and outdoor grills, as well as clean restroom facilities. And, of course, there's that amazing view!

We walked out to the rocky cliff and took in the 280 degree breathtaking view. And I was right, there were only a half dozen people with us on the viewpoint. Click here for more information about this hidden gem.

The trail leading to Shoshone Point.


More spectacular than any other view
 we encountered on this trip.

And, we haven't even reached 
the point where that tall rock is standing!

Truly incredible!

Best kept secret!

I was too chicken to stand near the edge.

Just taking it all in.

This was such a cool experience. I highly recommend a visit if you're at the Grand Canyon. I would love to come back and see it at sunset. Or sunrise. All I know is that I'll be back.

Last photo in the park then 
back on the road to our next destination.

A random tourist trap along the highway. 
Flintstones Bedrock City near Williams, Arizona 

Downtown Williams, Arizona

We had a delicious lunch at Rod's Steak House.

What a wonderful day. I can't wait to make a return visit to the Grand Canyon. It's been almost six weeks since we were there and I can't stop thinking about all the beautiful views. I'm so glad we decided to make time to see this wonderful national park.

Click on image for larger view.

October 21, 2018

Grand Canyon, AZ

Sunday, September 16, 2018
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Campground: Forest Road 310
Cost per Night: Free (boondocking)
Duration: 1 night
Weather: Sunny and warm

I hope you all aren't tired of seeing my Grand Canyon photos. With digital photography, I no longer print my pictures to store in a photo album, but rather use this blog as an online scrapbook of sorts. I've already deleted hundreds of photos of the first two weeks of this journey, but there are so many that I love and want to save. So, feel free to scroll by quickly, but I recommend clicking on each photo to enjoy the beauty of this amazing national park.

After our delicious breakfast at El Tovar (click here for my previous post), we walked along the rim to the Kolb Studio, which we had heard was a "must-see," not only for the history, but for the spectacular views. Sadly, we weren't able to see the Kolb brothers' original photographs since it was the first day of "Grand Canyon Celebration of Art, Plein Air on the Rim," featuring the works of 25 artists. Click here to watch one of the artists create a beautiful image of the canyon. The Amazing Kolb Brothers Exhibit opens in January, so we'll just have to go back, right?

I love the shadow-play on the canyon.

We came upon this gentleman drawing along the rim 
near the Kolb Studio. It's my favorite photo of this trip!

My happy camper!

Kolb Studio

This was one of the most pushy squirrels I have ever seen. 
He wanted whatever anyone was eating!

He's obviously not starving!

Next time we visit, I would love to take this train 
up to the Canyon from Williams.

While I hiked, Rod stayed in the RV and worked on an editing project.

I found out about this hike after watching one of Less Junk, More Journey's YouTube videos (click here to watch) and knew I wouldn't have time to hike the entire way down to Indian Garden Campground (which is 9 miles round trip and approximately 5-6 hours to complete), but their video inspired me to at least hike the 3-mile round trip portion to the first rest house. I left at 1:00 and it was sunny and pretty hot (92 degrees!), but I had a lot of shade on the trail and plenty of water. There were a lot of people walking back up as I was walking down, but it never felt crowded. I stopped a few times to drink my water, but waited to eat my snacks when I reach the turnaround point. Going down the trail was pretty easy on my lungs, but I could feel it in my calves and quads and whenever I stopped, I could feel my legs trembling a little bit. I rested here and there and when it was time to head back up, I realized I wasn't taking nearly as many pictures. I was too busy concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. It was tough! At one point, as I was taking yet another rest break, a couple walked by and I noticed that the man was wearing a Nebraska Market-to-Market t-shirt. I made a comment about the Husker football team and they stopped and chatted with me for quite a while. Turns out they live in Lincoln and are related to a former Barnes & Noble coworker of mine! I joined them on the hike back up and we had a great time talking about life in Nebraska. It helped me pass the time on the climb and before we knew it, we were back on the South Rim. Phew! What a great feeling to have hiked even just those three plus miles. I was hot & sweaty, but felt great. I headed back to the RV and couldn't believe the number of steps on my watch: 18,559 = 7.55 miles. That may just be a personal record.

Here I go!

Pretty easy going down...

The views from below the rim are so different, but just as pretty.

Thankful for the occasional cloud cover. It was hot!

This is just past the 1.5 mile point 
where I stopped for my snack and more water.

Future goal: Hike 9 miles down 
and back to Indian Garden Campground

Met these Nebraskans (from Lincoln!) along the way.

We made it!

The day's total.
Definitely earned a beer!

Click on photos for larger view.