Monday, March 18, 2013

How I Got Shrunk

Another World Heritage added on my list :)
To blog about The Grand Canyon is definitely one of the hardest blog post I've ever wrote. First of all, I do not have enough vocabulary to describe this wonderful place. Secondly, selecting photos is super tough. None of my photos make justice to this place, but yet, there are so many things I wish to show and I just do not know how to choose.



After paying the entrance fee (USD25 per private car), we were officially in the national park. Our first stop was at the Desert View. We bought ourselves hotdogs and drinks and had our first picnic in the park at the watch tower. Well, the food may not be great, but with the view, that's probably one of the best hotdog I've ever had :)

Desert View Watch Tower

View from the Watch Tower

(Photographed by Ching Ching)
After the lunch / tea break, my photography session started. As you can imagine, I just can't stop taking photos after photos. First of all, of course, because the view is stunning. Secondly, all the photos I took look terrible on my LCD screen.

I started to regret that I didn't spend enough time learning / practicing my photography skill before I come. I've never took any photos with such huge contrast and I just couldn't handle this. Sigh......

Standing at the view point, looking at the endless and various landscape expanded in the horizon made us feel insignificant. We were shrunk. Both of us were so quiet when we were in the Grand Canyon National Park, most probably we couldn't find the vocabulary to express ourselves, even in Mandarin.





The weather was great when we arrived at the Grand Canyon. I love the cloudy sky that match so well with the canyon. When we drove along the scenic desert view drive, we stopped at every single canyon viewpoints. Though our original plan was to check in to the Maswik Lodge and have a quick shower before the sunset, we just couldn't make it. By the time we reached Mather Point, it was almost sunset so we decided to change our plan.


We enjoyed a wonderful, breath-taking sunset. Some Mighty Power were so kind to us that He decided to paint the sky with various vivid colours.




As if it was not impressive enough, He even sent a family of deers to awe us. It was so amazing to have the doe and her baby standing less than 5 feet away from us. We were trying very hard to take photos of them without the flash, but on the other hand were so worried that they got scared. After the doe and her baby crossed the car park, the handsome stag appeared. Apparently he was watching us in the dark, protecting his wife and kid I guess :)


After the sunset, we went to Maswik Lodge to check in, and had our dinner at the cafe before we went to our room (have to drive from Lobby to our room). There are good enough variety of food to choose from, and there's even a Pizza pub with wide screen TV for those sports fans to spend their night. When we finally reached our room, I have to say, it was a pleasant surprise. When I researched for accommodation inside the Grand Canyon National Park, the photos that I saw were quite hopeless. I was cursing that they charged so high for such basic, ugly and old accommodation (but yet, still the cheapest available during our stay). Apparently they should fire their marketing manager for never update their photos. The motel room comes with 2 very comfortable queen size beds, LCD TV, coffee maker, refrigerator, air conditioning, shower and bathtub. There were ample space for 4 actually so it's good for both of us to re-organize our getting-messy-and-messier-luggage.

The next morning, we woke up at 4am, and drove to Yavapai point for the sunrise. It was 4 degree C in the car and we were sure that it was colder at the point where we waited for the sunrise. There's only 2 of us and another couple sitting at the bench, waiting in the dark. It felt so peaceful and connected to the nature that it almost made me cry.



If you look harder, there's another group waiting for sunrise at the other end.

Grand Canyon at dawn

Finally the sun rise and suddenly tons of tourists rushed in from no where. Well, of course, if you learn how to ignore them, the sunrise moment is still breath taking.

I love how the sun beam slowly touched the canyon, inch by inch, turning the dark canyon into vivid red. The little girl said she prefer sunset than sunrise but I love both. The shades of colours during sunset and sunrise are totally different but equally awesome.






This is taken after the sunrise, when the canyon is all light up :)

We went back to our room to pack and had our breakfast. The check out time is 11am so we must get everything ready and onto our car before we start our next session. We were taking the free shuttle at Hermits Rest Route.




While walking from our room to the free shuttle station, we walked pass the railway. I still think it is a great idea to travel to Grand Canyon by train. The Grand Canyon Railway is the most traditional and historic mode of transport to Grand Canyon. Too bad we just couldn't squeeze this into our tight itinerary.
















We walked a little bit on the trail of time before we hopped on a shuttle. It is fun to explore the National Park this way, where you ponder and understand the magnitude of geologic timeline.








While exploring, we also had a close encounter with a fatty cute squirrel that's eating apple with the best view in the world. I bet he doesn't know how lucky he is. :)










Exploring the national park with the free shuttle not only environmental friendly, but it's also very convenient. You can easily hop on and off at the designated points and take your own sweet time to explore, or even decide at which points onwards you wish to hike.

Unfortunately, we only planned for 2D1N in Grand Canyon (trust me, if possible, make it at least a 5D4N trip here. There are so many things to see and so many places to explore here!!), so we could only stopped at a few view points, then rushed back for check out.








The Mighty Sculptor - Colorado River



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