One of my itinerary was to see the spectacular Grand Canyon in Arizona. A close friend of mine, a nurse from Tennessee was supposed to meet me in Las Vegas. We will use her car to Arizona and stay overnight. As the winter snow piled up and weather was not getting better either, I received a call from her telling me that she can’t make it. An elderly lady driver bumped her car. She has to go to the insurance for the damage claim, etc . We did not waste time, I searched the internet for tour companies offering Grand canyon tour but online rate were so expensive. I remember I saw stalls at The Strip offering discounted tour rates to the Grand Canyon. To make the long story short, we got a good deal for our tour tickets. From $160.00 per pax, we haggled it down to $80.00 per pax. We took the schedule of the next day to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Excited of the tour, I prepared all my things for the big day. Camera ready, lenses, batteries fully charged, tripod and the clothes that I’m going to wear. Woke up at 4 am, had coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts and off to the pick up station. A lady bus driver called us up informing that she will be around in 5 mins. We passed by the office of the tour company wherein we were briefed of the do’s and don’ts at the Grand Canyon. We took our breakfast and off we go, bus full packed.
Halfway to Arizona, while the bus driver cum tour guide was giving us a bird’s-eye view of where we’re heading, he received a call advising to bring the group back to Las Vegas. There was a heads on collision of two buses due to heavy snow and was blocking the road. Tour cancelled. We were given an option to get our money back or set another schedule for an additional $30.00 per pax for the South Rim, the one that is available for tour as North Rim was cancelled. One may opt to add in his tour the helicopter ride , the IMAX theater and the grand canyon walk for an additional fee.
Finally, off we go to the Grand Canyon, at last. We were lucky to get the front seat of the upper deck of the motor coach. The bus stopped at McDonalds in Arizona for whoever wants to eat, answer call of nature or just buy anything from nearby stores. As we continue with the road trip, a digital signage posted a warning CRASH as seen on the picture. Few meters away, a red car and a bus was seen off the road.
I woke up to the announcement over the loud-speaker of the tour bus – “Wake up people, we are now entering the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park” driver said.
A bit of information about the Grand Canyon.
The first bill to create Grand Canyon National Park had been introduced in 1882 and again in 1883 and 1886 by Senator Benjamin Harrison. President Theodore Roosevelt then visited the rim in 1903. His enthusiasm and strong interest in preserving the land for public use was not immediately designated due to defeated senate bills and took 30 years to become a national park when Grand Canyon National Park Act was finally signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.
As per survey, the south rim attracts about 4 million visitors each year. Expect crowds during the peak season ( March – September). The South Rim is easier to visit than the North Rim and provides the most amenities. There are dozens of hotels, motel and lodges around the area to choose.
Most visitors come to the Canyon from May to September. Peak season is from October through April. Crowds are minimal and seeing the Grand Canyon with dusts of snow is worth the trip. We were given two hours to explore the Grand Canyon at the 1st viewing station as the 2nd viewing station was closed due to heavy snow.
I was amazed seeing this spectacular wonder and cannot get enough of the beautiful sight. My camera was busy clicking here and there. After sometime with the snow, I felt frozen already so we went inside Angel lodge to get some heat at their fireplace.
While sipping hot coffee, I chanced upon this father and son. The father was on the telescope while the son busy playing with the snow.
It was a tiring 18 hours trip to Arizona from Las Vegas where we spent only 2 hours sight-seeing the Grand Canyon. The bus driver politely asked for gratuity of $5.00 per person which we heartily gave. Got back at our hotel around 11 pm as roads leading to the Strip were closed for the New Year celebration. Tired and hungry but worth the trip.
This magnificent work of nature is a confirmation of how great God is. None of the famous architects, landscapers, designers in this world can surpass the landscapes of mother nature, a creation of His hand. Awesome, splendid, jaw-dropping! I am so lucky and grateful for all the blessings and opportunities God has given me. Not everyone can experience snow (not the snowstorm) and witness the beauty of His creation. To God be the glory!