The Great Southwest Trip 2017


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Tuesday, September 12
The plan for the day was to check out of the Railroad Hotel in Williams, take the train to the Grand Canyon, getting there at noon, and spend the afternoon there, and the night in the Maswik Lodge.
First thing in the morning, Candy and I went to put extra stuff in my truck, which stayed in the parking lot for three days. Of course she saw a feral kitty and tried to make friends with it. Almost managed it, too!

The Railroad Hotel

A raven in a tree, yelling at me.

The steam engine that runs about three times a year.

Whee! I'm an engineer!

There is a short 'old west' show in this 'town', and the sheriff chases the robbers through the train on the way to the Grand Canyon, and catches them on the way back.

We. Are. Having. Fun. On. The. Train.

Insulators. I just like them.

Mr. Man's stylin' chapeau. We had to have hats with strings for the mule ride, and he didn't own one, so we both got new straw hats before we left.

We took the shuttle bus around the Grand Canyon, and of course there was a misspelling in the ads along the top. Sigh.

And on the shuttlebus...I sat down by a woman who I realized very quickly was VERY VERY DRUNK. She asked me when she would see the canyon. Candy and I each tried to explain that you had to get off at a bus stop, and WALK to the canyon rim. She couldn't comprehend this. She told me how many times she had moved in the last three years (a lot) and how she had driven in today to see the Grand Canyon on her way to somewhere new, and had stopped for lunch...which I guess she drank. From then on when we rode the bus we'd ask each other where the canyon was...it was pathetic but funny.
Rabbitbrush and bees!
Three photos of Apache Plume, which was all over the place and GORGEOUS, and the last one is Fernbush.
One more Fernbush, and we are at the canyon! the light and shadows of the clouds overhead were amazing. And a raven flew by in the last picture!
Candy is sorry she's not allowed to feed the squirrels. More gorgeous canyon. The green line is NOT the Colorado River, it's Indian Wells, halfway down the Bright Angel trail. You can't even see the Colorado River from where we are. A lovely tree. Every time you go twenty feet along the rim, the whole look of the canyon changes. Amazing. When we first saw it in '92, we got there late at night, and the next morning we went to the rim, and all I could say for ten minutes was, Doug...it's BIG!
Mule rides! We are right near what we found out later is called the Stone Corral, which is where the mule rides start from.
We walked out to the bus stop, passing the train we had come in on, which was leaving soon to go back to Williams, and took the shuttle to Hermit's Rest, which is the westernmost stop on the line. We got off at most of the viewpoints to look, then got back on and kept going.

The John Wesley Powell memorial

Cliffrose. These are all over the North Rim, too.

Portrait of the photographer as a shadow...

There were all kinds of artists there. Candy took this one, with his permission.

Didn't see any, darn it.

Getting later in the day, and the light is getting really interesting.

Apache plumes.

You can actually see the Colorado River from here.

And now we're at Hermit's Rest, the end of the line, and...Hello! A female elk walks by on the other side of the fence, six feet from us!
I was wandering around taking pictures of the buildings, when Doug came to me and said, go down there where Candy is, there are more elk.
And there is a huge elk near the entrance to a service road, with his family about 40 feet down the road. They were GORGEOUS.
...and I rarely take pictures of other people, but you see the guy in blue? he was TWENTY FEET from an elk daddy whose family was down the road...you can see Dad looking askance over his shoulder at the guy, but he finally walked off in disgust. I was making sure I was farther away than Blue Shirt Guy...all I would have to do is outrun _him_...
One more pic of me looking cool at Hermit's Rest, and we rode the bus back to the Village. We had a lovely dinner in the Arizona Room, ordering drinks beforehand (DELICIOUS margarita!) in the smallest cocktail bar in the world.