Flagstaff and The Grand Canyon

posted on May 23, 2007 in Travel,USA

We arrived at the Grand Canyon International Hostel in Flagstaff pretty mongtastic and took the day off before our planned trip to The Grand Canyon the next morning.

There were just three others going; a middle aged couple from Leeds and an Australian woman. A young guy called Michael lead the trip. We bundled into the red minibus and Mike drove us the 1.5 hours to the Southern Rim (ashamed to say rim jokes were exchanged). We were surprised at all the snow en route.
Snow en route to the Grand Canyon

The Australian woman only stopped talking when she fell asleep.

On reaching the canyon Michael lead us to the edge whilst we closed our eyes to maximize the effect. It was impressive, but as veterans of the spectacular we weren’t totally blown away. Perhaps after a few months of Finglands buses and defaced phone boxes I’ll be ready to be impressed again.

Us and the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon

Mike drives us on further stopping at a lookout to explain how the canyon was formed. He gestures into the canyon. “And the layers have been gradually eroded over millions of years by tributary’s which is why,” he splays his hand to demonstrate “you have these finger like structures going into the canyon”. At this point the Leeds woman sighs and shakes her head as if little Michael has forgotten to tie his shoelace. “Of course, the Earth isn’t actually that old” she says. Yes, it turns out that the geologists have got it all wrong with their crazy theories on ‘erosion’ and ‘plate tectonics’; God made the canyon only a few thousand years ago. I’m glad she cleared that one up.

Coupled with the fact that Leeds womans’ husband suffered vertigo and never ventured more than 15 ft from the minibus I felt their addition to the trip to be very valuable.

We drove on again stopping at a lookout by a Native American market. We were surveying the drop when Michael calls us over. “Here guys, I’ve got some rocks” he points to a pile he’s assembled, “see how far you can throw them.” You’ve never seen three ‘adults’ become so excited. Lew, Rosey and me each grabbed a rock, but I paused. Throwing rocks off cliffs is like playing near a railway or not following the green cross code. Something that’s been deeply ingrained never to do. “Are you sure?” I ask. “Yeah” he said, “I’ve done it for years. I doubt anyones down there.”

Good enough for us. The stones made a satisfying crack when they hit the bottom of this canyon.
The Grand Canyon