Cross that off the Bucket List

I’ve never had a long list of things I always wanted to do. But standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon at Sunset was one of them.

We elected to join a small tour for the event, just so we wouldn’t have to drive home in the absolute DARK of Arizona, with so very little light to illuminate the way. In addition to supporting the local economy, it was a good choice.

2016-09-12-16-07-08The mini tour van picked us up at our Club House at 12:30 and the adventure began. The 14 other folks had already been on the tour for an hour and a half already, having started from Sedona. They made a special stop to pick us up in Flagstaff.

And the tour guide just kept talking. We learned later his name was J.R. and many more things about him that no one needs to know! But, he was doing the driving and the entertaining and we were just along for the ride.

Our first stop was the Cameron Trading Post about an hour outside the Canyon Park. It’s a huge Native American concern and it had many beautiful objects and art pieces to view and purchase, if one were so inclined. Since I have a “thing” for beavers, I purchased three new little Zuni fetishes that will be added to my ever-growing collection. I catalog my beavers and so I had to ask what each was made of. I learned that one is made of turquoise; one of Picassa marble; and one of alabaster. They will join a host of brothers and sisters as soon as they arrive at their new home.

2016-09-12-14-37-40Then we went into the Grand Canyon and J.R. stopped at an overlook with no guard rails or fences. He wanted us to have our first look at the canyon just as it would have appeared to the first people who stumbled upon it. Needless to say, we stayed far from the edge, not wanting to stumble any further!

2016-09-12-15-13-57But, it was breathtaking. Simply breathtaking. A picture cannot compete with actually STANDING on the rim and looking into the vastness of the canyon and the Colorado River – ONE MILE below us. J.R. told us that the Natives have a legend that this is where the mountains fell asleep, and so they laid down into the earth, leaving this canyon. As good an explanation as any, I would guess. And, they named this place “Kaibab,” which means “Where the mountains fell asleep.”  I love the legends that try to give reasons for the natural forces of nature.

From there we stopped at three or four more overlooks, some with trails that took us to better viewing points – ALL of them places that Randy and I would have never found on our own. It was worth the price of the trip just to see one of them!

2016-09-12-16-00-27At the Park Village, we stopped for dinner and everyone fueled themselves for the evening’s beauty yet to come. Along our way to the last overlook, where we would walk out and watch the sun set on the canyon walls, we saw elk grazing among the Ponderosa pine.

2016-09-12-18-16-01We joined many others who were already sitting on rocks on the canyon’s edge and positioned ourselves for the sunset. I elected to stand, but because I did I was able to maneuver myself along the path to catch different angles as the colors changed and bled across the rock face.

2016-09-12-18-27-01Amazing! Stunning! Breathtaking. None of the qualifiers are adequate. And, you’ll have to suffer the pictures. They will forever provide the episodic memory of this evening’s splendid experience.

We were dropped off at our Club House at 9:00 p.m. and walked back to our cabin under a brilliant star-lit sky. Yep, cross that one off the bucket list! It was well worth the trip!2016-09-12-15-25-36