Grand Canyon, AZ
Mid-30s and neither one of us have seen the grand canyon. We were drawn to go, and we even bypassed Zion for it. As it happens, the audible we called last minute to head south for the canyon also led to one of the top two picturesque drives E has taken us thus far. Less than a hour south of natural bridges we come to a series of switchbacks that are so steep they cant be paved and it feels like you just hit the edge of the earth. The cliff (known as Moki Dugway) drops down over 1100ft in less than 3 miles of road. We couldn't help but stop for some photos and video. This descent was fun and the miles of driving through sandstone towers towards monument valley made for a nice drive.
As we turned off the hwy on our way to the south rim of the canyon, we began to second guess ourselves. Giant rv after giant rv after monstrous tour bus passed us on the 50 mile road through the national forest and the park. Roadside sightings of the canyon were fantastic. But E was running hot, it was 1 pm on a very hot day and we were worried to stop at any lookouts. Our plan...to find a campsite, rest E, and then go out for the sunset viewing.
Sunset occurs just After 7, we began hiking the south rim trail around 430 to find a good spot to capture the canyon during the sunset light. Karma was one of the only dogs on the trail and although hot, she was loving it. When bry and I would walk out near the edge, we would have her lay in a shady spot on the main trail as there was nothing but cliff and drop off. Along the way we found a sweet spot and watched over the next hour or so as the shadows lengthened and the colors changed as the sun lowered over the horizon. There were in fact tons of people, but the cool part was there were tons of languages. We soaked up what an intl experience it was. Irish, Spanish, Italian, German. There were couples as well as families, as well as groups of friends traveling together.
The canyon was gorgeous, inspiring, artistic, big, vast, expansive, indescribable. As the sun dipped out of sight over the horizon, bry karma and I walked the rim trail back. We passed people tucked among the trees siting on rim's edge, picnicking, holding hands, taking video and some were eating pizza right out of the pizza box. We returned to camp to grill under the stars and karma was quite content with her grilled steak/grilled zucchini dinner. The campground although huge and pretty packed had a peacefulness in the dark, under the stars. We crawled into E and relived the day by looking at all the photos bry had taken. Quite stoked we came to the grand canyon, awesome experience.