The Grand Canyon - Live and In-Person

6.17.2017

I'm still visiting Arizona as we speak, but I have an hour to myself and couldn't pass up the time to begin writing about our trip to the Grand Canyon.  Last year I made it a goal to begin visiting all of our beautiful national parks; each year, I planned to visit a new park so that by the time Lewie turns 18, he will have seen at least ten of our national treasures.  I decided to start with the Grand Canyon because 1) it's been on my bucket list for a long time, 2) it's something Lewie would remember at age 8, and 3) it's only several hours away from family that moved here eight years ago.

We started our journey in Williams, Arizona--a small town that's famous for the Grand Canyon Railroad and Route 66.  We stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and took the Grand Canyon Railway into the South Rim of the Canyon.  Before boarding the train, we were treated to a Wild West Show in Williams.  Then we went on a several hour train ride right into the Canyon.  When we arrived, a bus awaited us to provide an hour and a half motorcoach tour to scenic points along the South Rim.  From there, we checked into the Maswik Lodge where we stayed overnight in the park.

The Wild West Showdown



Watching the Williams, AZ "Wild West Show"

On the train to the Grand Canyon




While taking the train was an absolute highlight for Little Lewie, nothing beat the views of the Grand Canyon.  We took many beautiful pictures during the motorcoach tour, but the very next day, we took many more photos while hiking the "Rim Trail."   We have hundreds of photos of our excursion, especially since hubby, Little Lewie, and I each had our own cameras.  (Little Lewie took the most photos out of all of us.)  Here are some of my favorites:









I love this picture of Little Lewie gazing at the vastness of this marvel.

My husband was the most daring of them all--not afraid to get up close for the best picture.

Little Lewie taking one of MANY pictures.


An elk crossed our path as we hiked the "Rim Trail."  It was an amazing sight!


One of my favorite pics.
Of course, part of the Grand Canyon experience is learning more about its history.  We learned about how and why this amazing canyon formed (over millions of years ago).  We learned about the Native Americans (the Hopi) that inhabited the Canyon, and we learned about the very first hotel that was built in the Canyon in 1905, El Tovar, (a hotel that was considered one of the finest West of the Mississippi River).

So, to fully embrace history, we viewed the short documentary Grand Canyon: A Journey of Wonder at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center (hosted by the National Park Service), we watched Native American performers dance at the Hopi House, and we had lunch at El Tovar.   Finally, Little Lewie and I spent several hours completing some National Park activities, so he could receive his Junior Ranger Certificate, Pin, and Badge.  I was so proud as he raised his right hand and cited the Junior Ranger Pledge; it was proof that he really did learn from his experience at the Grand Canyon instead of just observe.

Native American dancers at the Hopi House.



Lunch at El Tovar

The main room of El Tovar.  (There were tons of animal heads on display.)

El Tovar on the outside.

The Hopi House

Little Lewie taking the Junior Ranger Pledge.
Once our adventure at the Canyon ended, the Grand Canyon Railway took us back to the hotel in Williams, AZ.  It was a journey to remember and only the beginning of our Arizona travels...



2 comments:

  1. Woooooooooweeeeeeeee!!!!!!! So incredible! I cant wait to head to the Grand Canyon and now you can give me tips when we go. ;-) This looks so amazing Annette! The Wild West Show looks so fun! Love the train! The view is unbelievable! I hope you all are having an amazing time! I cant wait to see you can catch up and see all the wonderful pictures! Have fun! :-)

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  2. I love Arizona and it's great you made your way to the Grand Canyon! Love the photos!

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