Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Thursday, January 14, 2010
Continuation of our road trip last summer. I am honestly losing the enthusiasm to blog nowadays and prefer to squander my time watching anime/drama or randomly surfing various websites instead *sigh

So I'm hoping that this perseverance of mine would pay off in years to come when I want to look back on the memories and have this blog to thank for. I swear I will CRY and stab all nearby objects if blogger ever decides to delete all blogs without warning one day.

After passing the Hoover Dam, we went straight on for about 270 miles to the Grand Canyon.

I cannot tell if this is going to or away from the Grand Canyon :\

Arrived there at around 3-4PM (I think) and since I forgot to take a pic of the entrance, I shall just jump straight into the park.

Entrance fee was $25 per vehicle and you'll get a copy of the Park's newspaper and guide with a map in it. Do NOT lose the map as the park is crazy big and is a nightmare when darkness falls.

And here you have it, the Grand Canyon. Since they are all rocks where after a while, every scenery starts looking the same, I shall just type some random info to accompany each pic :) There are two rims - the South Rim and the North Rim (closed during winter), both separated by about 200 miles (321km). The more popular one is the South Rim which is the one we visited.

Here, there are around 50 named viewing points but many are either too far, inaccessible or you need to hike/camp in order to get there. Since we're only visiting for a few hours, hiking is out of the question, which leaves us with 19 points but you only ever really need 3 which are Mather Point (the first glimpse of the Grand Canyon), Yaki Point, and Yavapai Point.

Some bits and pieces about the Grand Canyon which I handily copy from wikipedia: The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in the United States in the state of Arizona. It is 277 miles (446 km) long, ranges in width from 4 to 18 miles (6.4 to 29 km) and attains a depth of over a mile (1.83 km) (6000 feet).

I was particularly excited to see the Grand Canyon because when I was a tiny little kid living at my grandparents' house, they had this Micro-Fiche like reader where you can view various pictures of famous places all over the world like the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal by inserting these microforms into it. And one of the pictures was none other than the Grand Canyon.

So to actually be here, standing right before the Grand Canyon and seeing its marvelous beauty with my very own eyes instead of through a tiny lens is just amazing. The feeling is simply quite indescribable. Like, I'm here. I cannot believe it but I'm actually here :D

Some more pics of the place. Obviously, I have since lost the map and my memory has turned to slush so I cannot make out which viewpoint do these pics belong to anymore :P

Random assortment of pics:

Pretty sure this was taken from different view points due to the different positions of the trees but drats, they ALL look the same seriously. Imm have to delete some from my posts now.

4th and 3rd sis. Hate how they both look nice in every pic *bitter

2nd sis. Haha can barely see her eyes here!

I have amazingly crappy hair here. No thanks to me forgetting to bring my hair products, haven't bought/won a flat iron then, was still going to this sub-par hair salon then. And yes, I am on a ledge because I am FEARLESS just like that! Ok lah, there were lots of smaller ledges beneath me (none on the other side, only a steep drop to death) or else daddy would have forbid us to even go near it.

You are allowed to do pretty much anything you want here as there are no fences to restrict you. Morbid wiki facts: 53 fatalities have resulted from falls; 48 committed suicide; and 23 were the victims of homicides.

Family pic♥! My eyes were closed. fml.


Brilliancy only kicked in now and realized that I could have just taken pics of each signboards so I would know where the pictures that follow after are taken at.

It's supposed to be like a temple with the shadows cast by the rocks doubling as an illusion for windows and doors but I guess it's not so obvious through a picture. The light colored rocks on top I mean and not the brownish muddy ones beneath it.

A tent temple. Or something.

A ravine so deep you cannot see the water from this pic because its too tiny to be seen. The nature of the Grand Canyon is all shaped by nature and not man-made.

Here's a short video clip I compiled of the Grand Canyon:

I know, its shaky at some parts but I'm a novice at filming videos and didn't know that even if you think you're already moving very very very slowly, it will still appear jerky. So, note to self: pause for a few seconds before moving on to the next scene. Btw, background music is Summer Time by NEWS. How apt :D

We wanted to visit the Grand Canyon Skywalk but couldn't find it. Good thing too because I'd just looked it up on the net and it's $75 per person and you are allowed to stay as long as you want. Although who would want to stay there for a minute more than they can help it is beyond me. What if the glass chose that moment to break???? *paranoid

So we dropped by a souvenir shop along the way.

Layers of the Grand Canyon

Click pic to enlarge

According to the guide, watching the sunset is something not to be missed and so we set out to Desert View (highest viewpoint on the south rim) which is at least a 30 minutes drive along the East Rim Drive.

Saw a couple of deers midway. Very tame.

The Desert View Watchtower. Was right about to scramble to the top but the guard said it was closing in 10 minutes so we skipped out cuz it would probably take us 10 minutes alone to walk up the entire flight of stairs.

The view here was simply breathtaking....

Trying to capture the last rays of the sunlight.

The rays of sunlight slowly getting weaker and dimmer as the sun sets.

The following are a slew of pictures documenting the setting sun ☀

So pretty. Like an oil or watercolor painting ♥

Go going gone

Left soon after as the sky was rapidly darkening and there are no streetlights to be found in the park at all. Realized why it was a bad idea to stay for the sunset an 30 minutes later when we realized we were driving the WRONG way towards the East Rim instead of the Park exit thanks to the lousy GPS which cannot tell where we are and gave us completely wrong directions.

Finally found our way back into the park and met two Chinese guys trying to find their way to the hotels (you have to book the park hotels at least a year in advance although there are some on the spot vacancies at times but it's a risky gamble) and gave them the wrong directions ah ftl (told you I cannot read map to save my life) and spent the whole night later worrying if they made it to the hotels alive. Cuz I think we directed them deeper into the canyons instead :X

Proceeded to then spend like AN HOUR trying to find our way out of the park in the complete dark where both sides of the road (no safety rails) is a steep drop down to your death the yawning mouth of the canyon. I was navigator so both me and daddy had to strained our eyes trying very hard to see the path. Sometimes we were lucky and we would have oncoming cars overtake us so we can follow their taillights but most were seasoned drivers and it didn't take them long to speed away from our sight, leaving us vulnerably alone in the dark all over again.

It is a scenario that I hope never repeats itself ever again.

Reached our motel (Super 8) around 10PM, 3 hours later than intended. Pic obviously taken the next morning. WORST LODGINGS EVER OMG. We booked a suite which was $200 per night and had four beds and a TV but that is where the good things ended.

So by this time, we were tired and dirty and wanted nothing better than to shower but guess what? The water was out. @*#!@&**!&%*$#!!!!!! The shower head was completely useless so we had to make do with the tap which gave only a trickle of water at a time. To quote daddy: 'Even pee is 10 times stronger than that!' wteff. We had to sit in the tub, place a cup under the tap, wait till it fills up, dump water on self and REPEAT ANOTHER 918313119231 TIMES WTH.

It was a long long loooooooong night......

Toilet didn't work either alkdjadkljsada want to strangle the manager T__T Who by the way just sneakily disappeared.

Breakfast was miserable too as the dining corner is like smaller than my toilet and the food totally cold. Only a few trays of donuts and no refills so once its gone, its gone. I bet all the late risers hated us cuz we came down like a tornado, swept up plates off donuts and disappeared in a flash to our rooms, leaving behind empty trays in our wake hahahaha. But I don't care we paid $200 for this way below par service hor! Hello, Las Vegas only cost like $30-$50 and is like 100 times better than this whatever suite *annoyed. After telling some people about this incident, some were like 'You should have just slept in your car and claim your money back!' which I wish we could but 6 peoples and a multitude of luggages in a car isn't exactly comfortable at all :\

Went sightseeing around the town after breakfast with my parents while my sisters took a nap.

Williams is a very small town its like a kampung. Minus the atap and wood.

Arizona is a reserved state for Native Indians, hence you'll see lots of tribal themed crafts. Bought a strip of coffee table cloth in one of the souvenir shops but aih turns out its too long for our tiny table.

Cloud Strife shaped like a bird. Drew the outlines in photoshop for those of you non-imaginative readers :p

And another one like a turtle:

A broken heart :C

Creepy wax dude. Wary at first cuz I was afraid he might be real. Not taking chances any longer after having met a couple of misleading 'wax' figures hmph.

Aih mummy why you close your eyes....

Should have stayed at any one of these places at least I'm sure they have running water *dark

I am just inserting random pics of the town for you to see what its like.

Finished touring the entire town in less than an hour and returned back to pack up as we were leaving for another night in Las Vegas again. I would love to come back to Arizona another time and visit its surrounding towns cuz I have a feeling it is full of historical sites and I love love love historical stuff ♥ All in all, if you minus the nasty motel, my experience in Arizona was a pleasant one :)


Faye said...

*envies* So wanna go Grand Canyon one day. ^^

Alley Kaye said...

Thanks for posting this, we enjoyed reading it, and the photos. By the way, the Grand Canyon Skywalk isn't in Grand Canyon National Park, it's at Grand Canyon West, which is closer in proximity to Las Vegas than anything else. It's also quite expensive, $80 and up per person to experience it.

Have a good one and hope you can come back soon!

hana said...

@faye: You will. Don't worry, you'll probably travel half the world by the time you're 40. or maybe 35 :D

@alley: Thanks! Ah so that's where the Skywalk is located. I will most definitely go back there soon for another visit :D