In the early part of the year, we realized that our planned four day visit to the Grand Canyon was going to coincide with our friends Katherine’s and Erik’s arrival in the canyon. They live in Atlanta, and every year they travel to the Grand Canyon to join a group of their friends and backpack into the canyon for a week.
Our plan was to drive to the Grand Canyon immediately after we left Tucson and meet them the night before they began their hike into the canyon. Hector was especially eager to see them, as he was not able to make their daughter’s wedding in Puerto Rico, which I attended.
As time went by our schedules shifted a bit, but it still looked as though we would have a chance to meet. Then we realized that we needed to make a slight detour after Tucson.
Our detour was to Congress, Arizona, where Vern, of Penner’s Mobile RV Repair resides in the winter. We needed to replace an intake valve on Island Girl. Vern worked on Island Girl in February and we were happy with his work so we decided to have him handle the install.
Although we lost two of our four planned nights in the canyon we still had a chance to catch up with Katherine and Erik. We left Congress and met them in Williams, Arizona where we had a nice leisurely Mexican lunch with them and their friend, Nath, one of the group that was backpacking that week.
Then we all continued to the Grand Canyon, they took off to join the rest of their group at their campsite, and we went in search of some National Forest land that we could boondock on.
We found a spot in Forest Service Road 302 just outside the park entrance. Check out my review of this boondocking spot here.
Then Hector took some group shots. We got quite caught up in the excitement of the group and made a plan to meet them in the morning at their trailhead to see them off and for more photo opportunities.
But of course, Hector wanted to catch the sunrise on the canyon. And since we had Angel with us, we chose Yavapai Point for the sunrise. Fortunately, the rim trail that goes along from there to other points allows dogs.
It was a beautiful sunrise, the Grand Canyon is one of those places that takes my breath away no matter how many times I have seen it. We walked along the rim trail for a bit and checked out various views.
This is a very popular tour – one day they head to the bottom on the mules, have dinner and overnight at the Phantom Ranch, and head up the next day.
I have to confess that I would freak out if I had to ride a mule down the Grand Canyon, but lots of people seem to enjoy it.
We also watched the hikers and backpackers hiking down the trail, I must admit I was a little jealous.
Then we took a short drive around the canyon, made a quick stop at the Visitor Center and went home to Island Girl.
Of course, we drove back out prior to sunset for more photography. Apparently, there is a vigorous debate as to whether sunrise or sunset is best for photography in the Grand Canyon. And we have the answer – both are spectacular!
We spent the afternoon and evening stopping along the overlooks on the east rim drive. One view as amazing as the next. We enjoyed the beautiful sunset at Lipan Point.
It was a great day in the Grand Canyon but we had to leave the next morning. Why did we cut our stay so short? Hector had a very specific photography goal in mind and we had to get to that destination before the new moon. All will be revealed in the next post.