DAY 37: Fredonia, Arizona
Miles traveled: 5,906
States visited: 17 (just added: Arizona)
Weather: 75, cool
Jason and I passed into Arizona yesterday and reached elevations of nearly 9,000 feet in the mountains. I had my second snow sighting of this trip. Snow? In Arizona? In May? This meant that a snowball fight was necessary.
Then it was on to the big hole in the ground known as the Grand Canyon. When you visit the canyon, you have to decide if you want to see the North or the South rim. They are only 10 miles apart, but in driving distance, they are 220 miles apart, so you can’t see both unless you have a couple days. We went with the less-crowded North Rim since it was more convenient to our path.
Even though we didn’t get much of a sunset because of cloud cover, the views were cool.
We also saw a rare California condor, sitting on the rocks just 15 feet away from us. The ranger said he’d never seen one that close before. This thing was huge. It could tear your face off. Wikipedia says there are only 322 of these birds currently alive in the world.
On Tuesday we hiked 2 miles down into the Canyon, which was awesome. Except then we had to hike 2 miles back up. Not so awesome. The trail actually continues 14 miles all the way to the river at the bottom, for those who have more time than us.
We had to stop several times to rest, because hiking up 2 miles at an elevation of 8000 feet is exhausting. But we were motivated by this old lady with gray hair, who was right on our tail the whole time. Every time she started to catch us Jason would say, “Grandma’s coming!” and we high-tailed it. Let the record show we beat her out of the canyon by at least 30 seconds. We rock.
I wasn’t sure when I started this trip that I’d make it to the Grand Canyon, so I’m excited that I did. I have a zillion more pics, which maybe I’ll publish at some point. Next up: Nevada!
I’m glad you got to visit the Grand Canyon. It’s definitely one of the most awe-inspiring sites I’ve ever seen. And a California Condor? I’m totally jealous. I would gladly trade having played a famous guy’s guitar to see a CA Condor in the wild–from a distance of only 15 feet to boot!
Did you see the Condor take flight?
No, the condor just sat there for several minutes. The ranger was actually worried, saying that it should be afraid of humans. When we returned 30 minutes later, it was gone.
loving the pics and blog, glad you got to see the grand canyon i was hoping you wouldn’t pass it up! and who knew albuquerque was so cool?
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