Road trip to the Golden State! Day 6 (The Grand day)

We woke up and showered away all the white sand from our bodies (except Mansi’s hair). Refreshed, we ate whole heartedly (yet again) and hit the road towards Arizona, making our way towards our grand destination – The Grand Canyon! Thanks to our great luck and our awesome Dr. Eggroll’s persistence, we had managed to get lodging within the canyons. As the canyons got closer, our excitement got bigger.

Before we left, Dana had told us that this was the best place she had ever been to (and we all know she has gone places.) with very picturesque views! And yet, we were stunned by the first glimpse! We stopped at Yavapai point before checking in at our lodge, Vikas made Prash and Mansi close their eyes as he guided them to the edge of the south rim. He didn’t want to leave “being blown away” to any chances. After the initial shock of being so close to the edge, all three of us just allowed ourselves to absorb and immerse into the enormity of the place. It was breathtaking, spectacular, beautiful and honestly, quite indescribable!

    

The panoramic view of the canyons kind of plays with your heart at first as you look down, then with your eyes as you try to perceive their depth, and finally, your mind, as you start wondering how all of this could have been created!

We reached our hotel and checked in at about 3.45 PM. Our room was in a quaint little lodge called “Bright Angel’s Lodge” and to our luck, our room was all the way at the back end, a 30 second walk from the south rim!

          

Following the ranger’s suggestion, we boarded the free shuttle that took us all the way to the west end of the south rim: The Hermit’s Rest (about 7 miles from our lodge).

   

From there, we walked along the south rim trail for a mile before we decided to take a shuttle back to a point (Mohave point) that was a little closer to our lodge (still about 3 miles out), and one that provided us with a good view of the sunset. About a hundred other people had similar ideas, and to avoid the crowd, we started making quick strides towards the next vista point on the trail from Mohave point in order to find a quieter place. The trail to the next point was rougher than we thought, and hence we started looking for a west-facing spot along the trail to not miss the sunset.  We were fortunate to find a perfect one – a quiet spot to the three of us, with just 10 minutes to go for sunset.

  

After being completely mesmerized, we finally started making our way back towards our lodge. We had pre-planned dinner (take-out pizza) to be enjoyed under the stars with some hot chocolate! The temperatures were in the low 40’s by now! brrrrr! All in all, a grand day at the Grand Canyons.

But wait, there was more to come. As we were finishing up our dinner, a park ranger informed us about a few elks that had come out to graze behind a neighboring lodge. To our amazement, we witnessed 3 elks just lazily grazing in the grass. Despite our several attempts, we couldn’t gather the courage to go close enough to capture their picture in the darkness . So you will have to just trust us that this silhouette is actually one of them 🙂

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