Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Thursday 2 October 2008
  The Grand Canyon Think I need to lighten the mood on these pages, so let me tell you it was over 4 months ago since we had a day at the Grand Canyon but honestly if it been 40 years ago my memories of that day wouldn't have diminished any. This was the same trip that we visited Palm Springs, the Joshua Tree National Park, Las Vegas and the red rocks of Sedona and also *sits up proud* the day I flew an airplane. That was later in the day back to Sedona though, flying into the Grand Canyon's West Airport terminal early morning I only had one thing on my mind, and that was to take as many photographs as possible of one of the most amazing natural icons on the planet.

The Grand Canyon is an overwhelming experience and superlatives often fail to do the landscape justice. I will write this and hopefully you will read it but please promise me that you will actually go there yourself. For those who don't know, the Grand Canyon is a massive canyon carved over several million years, six by most estimates, by the 1,450 mile long Colorado River as it cut through layer after layer after layer of rock as the gigantic Colorado Plateau was lifted up.

It is not the world's deepest canyon, that title belongs to Cotahuasi Canyon in Arequipa, Peru but the Grand Canyon is far more famous due to its overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. Geologically it is significant because of the thick sequence of ancient rocks that are beautifully preserved and exposed in the walls of the canyon.

5 million visitors come ever year to stare at the jagged elevations and blindingly beautiful layers of rock. The canyon's elevations range from as high as 9,000 feet to the banks of Lake Mead at just over 2,000 feet. Our guide took us to the West Rim. After landing we immediately got into a helicopter and flew a mile deep into the canyon itself. Soaring vertically down, it was an incredible experience. At the river's edge we jumped onto a pontoon boat and caught our breaths. We spent about 20 minutes floating down the Colorado River in between gold and red cliffs. The silence was as golden as some of the rocks.

Also at the West Rim is the fairly new (opened in March, 2007) Sky Walk (right) and at 4,000 feet above sea level it wildly claims to be higher than any skyscraper in the world. You know I love skysrapers so I couldn't resist paying the $30 to walk on it. No cameras are allowed but official photograhers are happy to take photos, of course they are, which by coincidence you can buy in the shop. The Sky Walk was commissioned and is owned by the Hualapai Indian tribe and it caused much consternation at the time, but an indian's got eat, right? And blimey looking at the ones trying to sell their cliché-ridden Wild West crap to tourists, they sure do like the odd burger. It is a fact that one quarter of people that live on most Indian reservations suffer from diabetes, brought on by obesity.

The Sky Walk was just about worth it. Horseshoe shaped it protrudes 65 ft beyond the edge of the canyon facing what is called Eagle Point (left). Hurricane and earthquake proof the walls and floor are built from 4 inch thick glass and no more than 120 people are allowed on the semi-circular walk at anyone time. I have to say that quite a few scratches were already visible on the glass floor when we were there, so make sure you have lunch after as we did in the Sky Walk Cafe, hideously touristy but the grub wasn't bad.

Unlike the South and North Rim, Grand Canyon West is not part of the Grand Canyon National Park. We literally flew in and flew out of the Grand Canyon but many thousands camp each night at the North and South Rim. Before you attempt any of these though seek advise as in a lot of areas hiking is discouraged and permits are needed for camping. Whilst the West Rim is only accessible by a 12 mile dirt track, the South Rim is much easier to get to and has the most amenities, including hotels and lodges. Watch for heavy traffic in the summer months and the freak weather that I endured the last time I was there in the 1990's.

The North Rim does not have the transport options that the South does, but a seasonal shuttle does run between the two. For the adventurous whitewater rafting, mule riding, elk and mountain lion spotting, cycling, hiking and running are especially popular and there are many overlooks accessible by car for those even more lazy than me. There is a less known East Rim too, this has a lower elevation and a scenic drive. Visitors there can actually look into the canyon up close as opposed down from high. Plan your trip though, whether it is a plane or helicopter day trip or a longer stay, this place is so vast but so unforgiving.

Before we headed back on our plane to Sedona, we spent a few hours exploring the rocks and gazing at it's magnificent chasms, vistas and ravines. Stare at the rocks long enough, its shapes and it's colours and you'll start to see faces and animals. I thought it bull as well, but look again. At first freaky, then friendly and finally amazing. It was a monumental day for a monumental thing. The Grand Canyon is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It is better than that, it is a superstar of the natural world. 

<< Home
About Me
After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
CAFC Links
  • Charlton Athletic FC
  • CAFC Player
  • Forever Charlton
  • CAFC Picks
  • CASC
  • City Addicks
  • Community Trust
  • Fans Forum
  • Charlton Life
  • / forum
  • Charlton Scrapbook
  • Addicks Downunder Forum
  • Fellow Addick Blogs
  • Addicks Diary
  • Doctor Kish
  • New York Addick
  • All Quiet in the East Stand
  • SE3 Addick
  • Jakartass
  • Charlton Athletic Online
  • Views from an Iberian Valley
  • Charlton North Downs
  • Blackheath Addicted
  • Drinking During the Game
  • Kings Hill Addick
  • A Red Divided
  • Deepest Darkest
  • All in a Day
  • Johnny73
  • Confidential Rick
  • Charlton Casual
  • Many Miles....
  • Croydon Addick
  • Stickleback
  • And Nothing Else Matters
  • Out in the rain
  • Hungry Ted
  • Bermuda - all 21 square miles of it
  • The Royal Gazette
  • Weather forecast
  • Discover Bermuda
  • Bermuda National Trust
  • Bermuda Blogroll
  • Bermuda Shorts
  • Jen in Bermuda
  • Daily London fix
  • Diamond Geezer
  • Onionbagblog
  • 853
  • The Cabbies Capital
  • A piece of my heart still in Chicago
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Bears
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago Fire
  • My Chicago stuff
  • Andersonville
  • Bucktown
  • Chinatown
  • Evanston
  • Gold Coast
  • Greektown & Little Italy
  • Lincoln Park
  • Lincoln Square
  • The Magnificent Mile
  • Old Town
  • Oak Park
  • River North
  • Roscoe Village
  • South Loop
  • Streeterville
  • Ukrainian Village
  • Wicker Park
  • Wrigleyville
  • Ten things to do with a child
  • My Bermuda exploring
  • Paget Parish
  • Southampton Parish
  • Town of St George
  • Ten things to do with a child
  • Travelogue
  • Atlanta
  • Bahamas
  • Beachy Head
  • Beaver Creek, Colorado
  • Bermuda
  • Buenos Aires
  • Californian Hwy 1
  • Charleston
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dubai
  • Eastbourne
  • Ft Lauderdale, Florida
  • Grand Canyon
  • Hiroshima
  • Honolulu
  • Houston, Texas
  • Kohler, Wisconsin
  • Kyoto
  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
  • Las Vegas
  • Lille, France
  • Los Angeles
  • Mexico
  • Miami Beach
  • Mt Fuji & Hakone, Japan
  • Munich
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Oman
  • Orlando
  • Palm Springs & Joshua Natl Park
  • Park City, Utah
  • Reykjavik
  • Route 66 and Hoover Dam
  • San Francisco
  • San Diego
  • Santa Fe
  • Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Sonoma & Napa Valley
  • St Petersburg, FL
  • Taos, New Mexico
  • Tokyo
  • Uruguay
  • Washington DC
  • The good old days?
  • The men in charge Parts I
  • / II / III / IV / V
  • Carlisle (a) 1986
  • Luton (a) 1989
  • Sunderland (h) 1975
  • Stoke City (a) 1994
  • Crystal Palarse (a) 2000
  • Norwich City (h) 1987
  • Coventry City (a) 2001
  • Barnsley (h) 1985
  • Bristol City (a) 1994
  • West Brom (a) 1995
  • Hull City (h) 1976
  • Burnley (h) 1978
  • Nottingham Forest (a) 1989
  • Sheffield Wednesday (h) 1986
  • Ipswich Town (a) 1981
  • Birmingham City (a) 1993
  • Hereford United (a) 1989
  • Interesting stuff
  • We're not on the telly much but who is?
  • Football Pyramid
  • Football Ground Guide
  • The Political Economy of Football
  • The Fiver
  • London 2012
  • TV Cream
  • Nice cup of tea and a sit down
  • Banksy
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from ChicagoAddick. Make your own badge here.
    And not so interesting
    Weblog Commenting and Trackback by Powered by Blogger
    EMail me
    Follow me on Twitter
  • ChicagoAddick
  • CAFC on Twitter
  • Archives
    June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 /