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Grand Canyon & Zion National Park: Two good bucket list additions by Ann Treacy
November 18, 2016, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Arizona, Utah

I had never been anywhere near the Grand Canyon – well I guess I’d been to Sedona but that’s not really very close. So we went and had a great time.

We flew to Phoenix and drove from there. We stopped in Sedona for lunch and to see the Church on the Rock. It is kind of amazing. What I remember most about the church is that you can pay to light a candle – like most churches. But it turns out that they over sell. I heard a few people complain that they paid their money and then no available candles. They weren’t problem solvers – unlike my mom who had that same issue 15 years ago.

We spent two nights at the Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah – otherwise known as Little Hollywood. It is the area where they have filmed Westerns for decades and the Parry Lodge is where the Hollywood hot list stays. OK, stayed. It’s a nice place – set up like a motel but with a swimming pool, resort like restaurant and an out building to show movies. It feels like it was once pretty no-nonsense swanky. Bacon was definitely star quality!

In Utah we went hiking at the Zion National Park. It is gorgeous. They have a nice setup where you park and they drive you to various stops throughout the park. And it’s kind of crazy the difference in temperature based on access to the sun and/or water.

We were able to climb up some of the cliffs and down to the river. In retrospect (after seeing the Grand Canyon) the park seems pretty accessible and close. I’d go back there and other parks in the area in a heartbeat.

But last week we had bigger Canyons to see. En route we stopped by the Navajo Bridge, which his 435 feet about the Colorado River AND I walked over it. It’s not as scary as it sounds. It’s not a rope bridge or anything. It used to be *the* bridge. And we stopped by a place called Cliffdwellers, which had a few stone-made houses structures. It was a bonus to walk around and find little chunks of quartz.

We arrived at the Grand Canyon just before sunset. We were able to start at the welcome center, which is a tower built but Mary Colter, who had previously been a school teacher in St Paul. Her work is very good; she draws from local cultures to create something that seems pretty authentic.

Our first night we saw a baby deer with its mama. The deer are not afraid of people! But the baby had been separating and we could hear it whimper. I have never heard a deer make noise before. We ran into it a few times on the trip.

The Grand Canyon is really breathtakingly awesome. It’s just so huge. And gorgeous with the layers of red, deeper red, streaks of black and sandstone color. Although I would never want to take kids there. It’s just too high. I nearly had a heart attack watching an adult who wanted to stand out on the edge.

We stayed on the South Rim, since the North Rim was really closed for the season. What’s really cool is that we stayed in the park, a short walk from the edge of the Canyon. There are a couple of lodging options in that area. The main lodge was built in an upscale European lodge style. Lots of dark wood and dead animals on the walls. There’s an upscale restaurant and we enjoyed a very nice, very old school dinner there.

We watched the sunset and the sunrise. We walked to Hermit’s Rest and Powell’s Point and lots of other places in the Canyon I didn’t know about before. Mostly I’ll let the pictures speak for them selves. It was interesting to see the impact of the sun on the colors. And to see the layers of the Canyon – it felt like we should be able to count the layers like counting the rings of a tree to figured out the age.

We didn’t climb down the Canyon – mostly around, which suited me since I don’t want to stand very close to the edge. That being said I got a lot closer to the edge than many people might guess.

For better or worse we were gone Election night. We thought we’d check in at some point, confirm what everyone was predicting and move on. But like everyone that wasn’t the case. We found a dive bar just over the border in Arizona. (Home to the longest continuous bar in fact!) Our only saving grace is that they refused to discuss the Election.

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