We were up and at ’em early this morning in order to get to the park before there was a lineup. (See our Itinerary HERE)It’s suggested that you arrive between 9 and 10AM, otherwise, you could be waiting to get into the park. Also, there isn’t much in the way of rest stops, restrooms, and fast-food establishments between Flagstaff and the park (quick side note, don’t read or look at your phone along this journey, the views are epic, like nothing you’d EVER see in NW Ohio), so we made certain we packed our lunch and took tiny sips of our coffees along the way. Though I apparently didn’t take tiny enough sips or perhaps it was my 40+-year-old bladder and the fact that it’s had 3 large babies sitting on it at some point, but I had to go so bad, thus, our first stop, once we were in the park, was the restrooms!
And FYI the restrooms by the Visitor Center are extremely clean, I highly recommend stopping there before heading out for a hike. And while you’re at it, you might want to stop off at the Visitor Center as well…they have amazing volunteers there that can answer ALL your questions, and help guide you to the best views (though, there really isn’t a bad view), where to picnic, where the nearest flush toilet is, you name it! Also, fun fact, did you know the further you go down into the canyon the hotter it gets…so apparently there are exceptions to science, hot air doesn’t always rise.
We decided to walk the rim since there were heat warnings with the inner temperature of the canyon being 105+ degrees. And again, there is no bad view when you’re at the Grand Canyon. I hadn’t been here since I was a kid and I forgot how majestic the canyon is…it’s hard for the mind to process the magnitude of it. It almost looks like it’s a faux backdrop…am I right?
And the fauna, omg! I have never seen so many foreigners amazed by squirrels. There were some trying to pick them up and feed them (there are legit signs everywhere that say do not feed the wildlife) but despite the effort, clearly, people still do, I mean, check out this guy…he’s definitely had his fair share of snacks, lol! How does he not have his own Instagram account?! What are we thinking, Grand Canyon Fat Squire?
How beautiful is she? We didn’t even see her, this elk was just chilling in the shade and unphased by hikers and bikers passing by.
OMG, and the birds! So they were way too fast for me to actually capture on camera, but trust me, they have this beautiful bluish/black bird that literally shines. We kept seeing them when we stopped to picnic.
We managed to find the perfect spot to picnic, nuzzled between trees that offered a bit of a reprieve from the heat and there was actually a really nice breeze. And yes, we are using our map as a tablecloth, lol!
And the food we packed was spot on, cool delicious red ripe strawberries, turkey and cheese with avocado mayo was perfection, a side of juicy bell peppers, and mixed nuts and dried cheese to help get those electrolytes back up. Perfect lunch to fuel us up for the remainder of the afternoon.
It was hard to say goodbye to the Grand Canyon but we had to part if we were going to get to Lowell Observatory in time. But first, souvenirs!
We stopped at Double Eagle Trading company…as we drove up it had an eerie ghost-town feel, but once inside it felt more comfortable and had an impressive amount of souvenirs to choose from.