The Grand Daddy of all National Parks
Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:36PM
[Raul Keally]

It was pretty fitting I guess to end the National Park tour of my trip with Grand Canyon National Park.  It's hard to believe that during the entire year I lived in Arizona - I never visisted the Grand Canyon.  What a shame because it's pretty mind blowing.  The scale trumps all that I've seen at previous National Parks.  It's a 14 mile hike from the top of the North Rim to the bottom of the canyon via the Kaibab trail.  Although I didn't have the time nor the energy to make that trek - I did complete nearly a 6 mile hike into the canyon along the Kaibab trail - snapping photos along the way.  It was a tough hike but made a bit easier since it rained during most of my return trip back up to the rim.  It was hot hiking down and a bit cooler hiking up due to the thunderstorms.  Hearing thunder boom through the Grand Canyon was quite an experience.

I also encountered two Mule Deer during my hike down into the canyon who were very skittish - jumping up behind tree cover and peering at me through the leaves, watching my every move.  There were plenty of critters during the hike - which at times startled me due to all the news of the Grand Canyon being 'mountain lion country'.  I'm glad I did the hike and experienced the canyon first hand.  Walking down past the many colorful layers of the Grand Canyon is definitely the best way to experience it.

Last night I camped at the one campground near the visitor center in the park and it rained quite a bit.  I ended up buying a tarp at the camp store and constructed a lean-to above my tent to shield rainwater off and away from my tent.  It was cozy in my tent - I made/ate dinner and watched a movie on my laptop until the battery died.

This morning I woke up and checked out a few of the overlook spots of the Grand Canyon then jumped in the car and drove to Las Vegas.

Tomorrow I'm going to check out Hoover Dam and Lake Mead and take it easy here at the hotel (South Point) - which is pretty far from all the action which is why it was so cheap I guess!

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