Yesterday our day started in the beautiful village of Oak Creek, eating breakfast as the sun rose over the red rocks.
After checking out all the formations the day before, we decided Bell Rock was a manageable hike before we set off for the Grand Canyon. It’s hard to describe the colour of the rocks, except to say they really are red! None of us felt the positive energy of the vortex but Taine fell over not far from the beginning of our climb and I wrenched my shoulder a but further along the track so we decided maybe we’d had a negative vortex effect! Geoff and Sophie climbed up to the top of the rounded part of the bell and we took some pretty spectacular photos.
We also visited the Cathedral in the Rock, a church built into the side of one of the cliffs. I lit some candles for my religious friends and took in a few more magnificent vistas, then we jumped back in the car and headed of to Flagstaff. When we left Sedona Geoff was wearing his shorts and t shirt. Half way through Oak Canyon we started to notice patches of snow alongside the road and by the time we reached the top it was full on snowing and the countryside was white! Snow is such an exciting event for us Antipodeans so we stopped at a market on top of the ridge to play in it for awhile. Needless to say we all got very cold and wet and ripped off by the over priced souvenirs on sale there but it was fun.
Flagstaff was our lunch stop and provided some Christmas card views because the whole town was covered in thick snow. Realising that we had come very under prepared for snowy weather we stopped at Walmart but strangely we found no snow gear there so we stocked up on snacks and New Year's drinks and kept moving towards the Grand Canyon National Park. I had expected lots of winding roads like we have at home but we had already done our climbing through Oak Canyon and the road from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon was actually very straight and very flat, a bit like parts of the Desert Road in NZ.
|Flagstaff to GC|
We thought we'd left the snow behind us but as we reached the park entrance it started to fall again and when we reached the village it was quite heavy. After stowing our gear in our room at the Kachina Lodge we stepped outside for our first view of the world's most famous hole in the ground. And we didn't have to walk far. The GC lodges are literally on the rim, at some points just metres away. In fact on the path to Bright Angel Lodge I measured 3 metres to the edge. And on that bit of the path there is NO FENCE, just a straight drop hundreds of metres from the snow covered, icy path. One wrong step on the way home from the restaurant......Arrggghhhh. Last night there was lots of cloud in the canyon but this morning you can see all the way down. It is too real to be real.
|Just outside our front door!|
|Still wearing shorts|
As an acrophobic I knew I would struggle with living 'on the rim' but quite frankly I am terrified and for the first time on our whole trip, not really enjoying myself at all. Today Geoff and Sophie have gone to hike into the canyon itself and the mere thought of that has given me nightmares. I'm sure they will have a spectacular (albeit freezing) time and I wish I could take some part in the glory of the view but instead I will spend the day encouraging Taine to hold my hand while we take a less strenuous walk along the rim and maybe build a snowman.