Wednesday, 3/18/09, we should have know it was going to be a bad day as we had set the clock wrong and got up an hour earlier than we should have....6 am instead of 7 am. Now those of you who know me, that surely isn't a big deal but for Will....6 am is a BIG DEAL. We wanted to be at the train station at 9 am for a "good" parking spot, watch the cowboy gun fight at 9:30 then board the train at 10 am. As you can see we had a lot of time to kill. Well it all went smooth & we boarded the train and WOW it was loaded with lots of kids...the 5th & 6th grade ones probably going on a school outing. Now of course we had booked coach as first class or observation seating was more expensive, but the train ride was ONLY 2 hours so how bad could it be? Well it was bad, considering you have 2 hours up there and 2 hours back and the scenery is pretty nothing. It's not like your riding along the Grand Canyon having a spectacular view. it is nothing but juniper trees. Plus, besides the kids we had "entertainment"...that would be the conductor telling stories, of which only part of it could you hear or the strolling guitar player. Oh yes and the "train holdup" on the way back while kids/& adults were thrusting money in the robbers hands. Needless to say Will & I did not contribute to the holdup.
But we arrived in one piece & waited for the shuttles to take us to the different stops along the rim. I must say that first view of the Grand Canyon is truly breathtaking and the colors and rock formations are amazing. Looking down at that first view you could see the many hikers on various trails and they looked like ants. We even saw the mules returning from a hike down to the bottom of the canyon. Now if I was going to the bottom of the canyon I think that would be the way to go, of course who knows how long it would take to recover from being on the back of a mule for that many hours. Unfortunately, what we didn't "factor in" by taking the train ride was they boarded at 3:15 pm for the return trip home and you ONLY had 3 1/2 hours to see the canyon. What with waiting & riding the shuttles it was not enough time to see many different stops. IF I ever went again, we would definitely take the car and I will add that is a might big IF.
Our most favorite thing about the Grand Canyon was seeing the California condors soaring above the canyon on the wind currents. This was the first day they had been spotted flying at the canyon and we were lucky enough to see five condors. In the early 1980s the condors were nearing extinction with only 22 left in existence. They started a captive-breeding program that has been very successful. You can learn more about this wonderful program at www.gcnpf.org
Well we made it home safely and did survive the train ride up and back and were pretty tired when we returned. After a very quick dinner & shower we were in bed by 8 and asleep by 8:10 pm. Our most pressing concerning that night was that our water didn't freeze up as it had done the night before. During the night we got up several time to turn the tap water on and also started the heater about 4:15 am. When morning came and it was only 32 degrees we were very happy to "pull up stakes" and head for Bullhead City where the weather was forcasted to be 90 degrees.
We arrived about noon at Bullhead City, AZ which is on the AZ side of the Colorado River. On the other side is Laughlin, NV with one after another "big" casinos and NOT Indian casinos. Fiesta RV park is our new home for one week located on Highway 95 and is a real nice park of lovely park models (mobile homes) and RVs. Two beautiful swimming pools & spas plus bingo on Tuesday! What more could you ask for. We called our new friends, Roby & Ron from Oregon who are also in Bullhead City & we will get together with them this week. However, this week is going to be devoted to me laying at the pool & Will washing the RV & car.
It's hard to believe this trip is almost over but we both agree it has really been wonderful. We have met so many great people & seen & done many fabulous things and consider ourselves to be very, very lucky. Much love to family and friends.