We drove north through Flagstaff and it got cooler due the high elevation of 7000 ft above sea level. We descended again and arrived at Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. No matter how much you prepare yourself it is hard to fathom the monstrous size of this canyon – one of the largest in the world – 400 km long by 15 km wide x 1.7 km deep! To say it took our breath away is an absolute understatement. We gazed and we gazed an were stunned by the beauty and scale of what we saw there.
We settled into the campground for a couple of nights and enjoyed the wildlife. That evening we went to a camp fire chat by the ranger. He said they lose several young people every year who get too close to the edge and fall over!!!
If we had more time, we could have hiked all the way down to the Colorado River (5000 vertical feet), stayed overnight in a lodge and rode a donkey back up the next day. Instead, we settled on hiking down about a 1000 feet into the canyon and then backup again. What a refreshing and tiring experience. We learned that some really athletic people hike all the way down and run back up in half a day just for the exercise.
Dave bought a new Tilley hat to replace the one he forgot on the train in Pamplona. Next day we headed east for some more sightseeing toward Navajo and Hopi country.