On a Friday evening (29th April) at around 6 PM, Seb, Jonah, Sundar and our manager from India Suresh, drove out of Colorado Springs, heading towards the Grand Canyon. Earlier that week, I had booked our stay at the Best western Hotel in Williams.
Suresh drove most the of the way. Seb, Sundar and I, at the back seat played - "Tom Dick and Harry", "Hang man" to kill time. At around 8:30 PM, we stopped for dinner near Springer, New Mexico. The town was so small that it had no good restaurants open at that time. So, we headed back to a truck stop we had noticed earlier on the way. Settled in for what ever was available. Otherwise, the drive was uneventful. We took turns to drive and reached Grand Canyon at around 6 in the morning.
Drive: Colorado Springs to Grand Canyon, Arizona.
Start: 6:00 PM
Distance: 796 Miles
Expected Time: 11 Hrs 20 Mins
Reached at 6:00 AM.
Actual time taken - 12 hrs.
We decided to drive directly to the canyon to watch the sun rise. The view from there was magical. As the orange sun rose up on the sky, it unveiled to us the vastness of this canyon. One could easily and happily get lost in them. It was enormous and gorgeous. It was also interesting to note that when we were driving to the canyons we mostly had flat land, but when we got to the viewing point it was a sudden dip of several thousands of meters. That was an incredible feeling. It was like the opposite of climbing a mountain, if you know what I mean.
On our way back, an incident happened that remains till date as a joke among us. Seb was driving and four ravens flew across and one was hit by our car and probably killed. Well, that part was sad but then we bullied Seb for killing one of the only four ravens in Grand Canyon.
When we arrived at the hotel we requested to check in but the receptionist told us that it was not yet time. But our watches showed that it was past 8:00 AM. So, we argued. We realised only then that we were on a different time zone. We had some breakfast and then checked into the rooms. Nevertheless, our disappointment with the delay, that was specially displayed by our manager got us two king size rooms for the same price.
After lunch at a Pizza hut, we headed to the Canyon again. We took several trails to viewpoints like Yaki point, Navoja point and desert view to get some glimpse of this magnificent natural structure.
We wanted to walk down the canyon, so we tried walking down on Kaibab trail, which apparently was not the trail we were looking for. Someone guided us to a trail next to Bright Angle lodge. So we drove till there and went on a short hike down the canyon. However, we could not walk all the way down, it would take us more than 8 hours and normally is a two day trek with a halt at the base. Convincing myself that someday I would return to do it, we returned back as it was getting dark already.