Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Grand Canyon is incredible. After our 2 hour ride on the Grand Canyon Railway, we spent three hours walking along the south rim edge and taking it all in. The train ride was fun. Our seating on the way to the canyon was first class and very plush as we were in our own car with two other couples. The ride back was in a different car, more people and not quite as comfortable. But the ride home included champagne, wildlife viewing (deer, antelope and elk) and a train robbery. During both rides, we were entertained by a couple of singing cowboys who of course, gave their own renditions of "Folsom Prison Blues" so we felt at home. The train robbery was conducted by a couple of elderly cowboys who came aboard after the train stopped for them as we were told "only idiots jump on trains for minimum wage." What they really wanted was tips of course. This is the time of year to see the canyon. The weather was beautiful and actually kind of warm. I thought we'd see more snow, but it's all fading away. If we had taken this trip in January, it would have been very deep as the south rim is about 7,000 elevation and they got lots of snow this year. Another wonderful aspect to being here in February is that its not crowded at all. Sometimes we were completely alone on the trails and overlooks. The tour guides said beginning in March millions of people show up to tour the area. There is a free shuttle so we managed to see quite a bit of the canyon in a short time. But next time, we plan to ride the train and spend the night at the rim at one of the many cabins or the small hotel. Seeing a sunrise or sunset over the canyon would be spectacular. The meals that were included with the tour have all been buffets of course. They were acceptable - not fantastic - but okay. The entire trip was not a bad deal at all - but we did save at least $250 with special winter specials.