A trip to US West – Day 9

July 12, 2019

We started our Journey with waffles and a cup of coffee. After almost 1 hr drive, we reached Tusayan and we stopped at Tusayan Grand Canyon Visitor Center to see if we can get some details of the national park because we thought that it’s the actual visitor center, but we were wrong. This one also has the maps and details about the park, but it’s outside of the South rim. So, we headed to the grand canyon south rim entrance. This is where the fun begins. My Dad parked the car at the butterfly parking lot and we got out to go to the real visitor center. My mom got the map and we proceeded to Mather point.

Mather Point is the closest viewpoint destination to the visitor center/canyon view plaza, a 5-10 minute walk. Due to the proximity to the visitor center, this is the most popular and crowded area of south rim. It is often the first stop for most of the south rim visitors who want to see the view of the red, colorful canyon. Mather point has two narrow ,railed overlooks.

In Mather Point, I looked at the scenery and explored to see if I could find special types of rocks (not to keep of course). My baby sister was enjoying the freedom and relishing it by making my mom fussy. If you ask how, then it was because she was running all over the place, up and down and all around. Meanwhile, my dad took photographs of the view.

View from Mather Point Overlook
Another view from Mather Point
Panoramic view of Mather Point

In the south rim, there are four bus routes, Blue Route/Village Route,Orange Route/Kaibab Rim Route,Red Route/Hermits Rest Route,Purple Route/Tusayan Route and Hiker’s Express Route. Some of these routes allow private vehicles and others do not.

From Mather Point, we took the shuttle to Yavapai point and Geology museum. There we could see the Phantom ranch far away and many other history rich places. Inside, there is a gift shop, history plaques that have texts about (you guessed it) history of Grand Canyon and other texts about the ancient backstory of the canyon and Colorado river. Grand Canyon has multiple layers of rocks. The oldest formation is at the bottom and starts with the Precambrian – Vishnu Schist then Cambrian stage – Tapeats Sandstone, then Bright Angel Shale and Muav Limestone. Next layer is Redwall Limestone, then comes Supai Group and Hermits Shale, Coconino Sandstone, Toroweap Limestone, and Kaibab Limestone.

Outside of the museum, there are tourists binocular and a tiny telescope that shows the narrow Suspension bridge across the river. This is the closest point to the Colorado River, that is why you can see the bridge. Also, another exclusive thing in Yavapai point that we saw a lot are tourists, tourists, tourists, and tourists.

We explored more areas of the Yavapai point. Finally, we found a good spot to enjoy the view. My sister was, as usual, racing around, while my mom was not too far behind. My dad and I were the actual people enjoying the view. When my sister settled down my mom got some time to view the scenery. My dad then took the opportunity to take photographs of the view. By then, I was bored and hungry. So after some time my dad got enough photos, and my mom finished enjoying the beauty of the scenery, we went back to the shuttle bus stop. My dad kind of got distracted and went to take more photos while my baby sister regained her energy, so my mom was not exactly happy at the time. In the meantime, I met some Indians. Then the strangest thing happened. My sister started to quiet down when my mom started talking to these newfound friends. This is weird, but it must be because the people were strangers to my sister. Finally, a bus came by and my dad came running back to the bus stop right in time.

We boarded the bus and got out in the visitor center. There I went to look for a restroom in the gift shop. No luck. Then finally the cashier gave me the directions. I thanked her and raced to the destination with my dad behind me because he wanted to watch me to see if nothing goes wrong and to see if there was a suspicious-looking person that will grab me out of nowhere and take me to space and give me to aliens so they could study me like the last set of people that got dissected ;). By the time I got back, my sister got a toy in her arm. It was a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. Then we went back to the car to have some food. When we were all finished Mother nature started crying. In other words, it started to precipitate in Grand Canyon National Park South Rim. We were so tired that we dozed off in our car for an hour at most.

When Mother nature’s sobbing decreased, my parents decided to do a drive around the Blue Route/Village Route. In the route, there are lodges, a train depot, a market plaza, park headquarters, and campgrounds. After that, we went to Pipe Creek Vista. That is when I woke up and saw the very beautiful scenery. There me and my mom got out and took a lot of photographs. The climate was cool since it rained.

Pipe Creek Vista
Pipe Creek Vista
Pipe Creek Vista
View from Pipe Creek Vista

After spending some time there we headed to the Duck on a Rock. The scenery is, of course, beautiful, but the thing that most viewers get confused by is where “the Duck” is in Duck on a Rock. To answer that question, the Duck in Duck on a Rock is in the topmost part. A fun fact that most people don’t know is that the beak of the duck has fallen off because of erosion.

Duck on the Rock

On the way to our next destination we saw some elks. But they went deep into the forest when my sister yelled through the window. Our next stop was at Grand-view Point. There we went down to the hiking trail. We went one third and my parents said to go back to the top. I was eager to go on but my mom and dad said it in a way that I thought that if we proceed then a bigfoot will come and get me like the victims that he had eaten before. But the reason we did not go forward in the trail is that it is difficult to go with my sister.

Grand view point
Me and my sister at Grand view point
View of Canyon from Grand view point

As a favorite of photographers and painters, we visited Moran Point. It is one of the favorites of my dad. If you have read my earlier pages you will know that my dad is a photographer and so now you know why it is favorite of my dad. What is more, interesting is that my dad went farther in and I followed him which was exciting to me personally. My mom and sister was waiting for us at the view point. Finally, we got back to the car and showed her that how beautiful the scenery is.

View from Moran Point

In Lipan Point and Navajo Point, there was nothing that interesting other than the amazing view of the canyon. So here are the photos.

Navajo Point

When we reached our final destination – Desert View, I explored the place. There were tourist binoculars, history plaques, and the desert view watchtower itself. By the time we reached there, it was sunset. My dad took photos of sunset, while me, my mom, and sister enjoyed the view. It was amazing. I went to look through the binoculars and read the plaques. My sister ran energetically, my mom not too far behind.

Desert View Watchtower
Sunset at Desert View
Sunset at Desert View

There is a trading post that offers desserts and a general store for campers to get he groceries. The plaque near the watch-tower talks about the TWA mid-air air-craft collision.

When we got back to the car it was already dark. We decided to go back to the hotel and we got some dinner on the way. It probably took about two hours for us to reach the hotel. Then I got fresh and ready to sleep.

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