Saturday, September 20

Grand Canyon Trip: Day Three

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

The cabins of the Maswik Lodge sit near the railroad, so we have a lovely wooded view out the window of our room. Yesterday evening Eric and his dad went off looking for elk and deer. We had seen some does and fawns wandering around near the shuttle stops, and one of the drivers told them a tale of "the biggest elk I've ever seen" with "the biggest rack I've ever seen," so they were eager to have a sighting themselves. Knowing a wild goose chase from a golden opportunity, I had opted to wander the shops with Eric's mom. Sure enough, by dinner them the guys returned without having sighted their quarry. Early this morning Eric's dad went out again--I think he said he was out for two hours--and saw nothing. Not long after he returned to his room, he spotted some deer out the window. Murphy's law.

After a quick breakfast we caught one of the shuttles that helps to move people from point to point throughout the park. We discovered one shuttle stopped at an IMAX theatre at the National Geographic Visitor Center a few miles outside of the park in Tusayan. The theater features the IMAX film, Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets. The visuals of the Grand Canyon on an IMAX scale were certainly impressive, but the film was light on the geologic and historical exploration of it. It was certainly entertaining, just not that informative.

Once we made it back into the park, we headed for Yavapai Point again in order to pick up one of the rim trails. The view from the trail make my regular evening walks look decidedly boring. I very much enjoyed hiking with such an incredible view to take in all the while. We spotted a few deer and elk tracks and a very aggressive squirrel hassling a snacking couple. (Squirrel bites are the number one treated injury in the park.) By the time we ended up back at Grand Canyon Village, it wasn't long before the time we were to board the train. So, we rested and rehydrated while we waited.

Before long we were back on the Santa Fe car, riding the rails back to Williams. After an afternoon of hiking, it was a rather drowsy ride, but by the time we pulled into the depot my thoughts were turning toward supper. We hadn't really had lunch, and I had worked up quite an appetite. The pizza place smelled best, and we had no problem completely eliminating a large pizza. What's more, I was able to enjoy my pizza without regret knowing I had gotten my exercise for the day hiking. All in all it was a really great day.

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