April 16th --Grand Canyon, from South Rim and Sky--

Today, I also got up late, because I was working late for the report last night. I checked out the motel at 11:00 and left for the visitor center. At the entrance of the park, I had a great advantage of the Golden Eagle Passport. I could avoid the line of the gate. At the visitor center, I saw a map and a newspaper of the Grand Canyon. First thing I had to do was to get a permission for camping below the rim. It was about noon, and the Backcountry office, which issues a permission, opens at 13:00. I decided to get around the vista point. I had a great view from the Yavapai Observation Station. This is the Grand Canyon. I am really sorry about the narrow image of my digital camera. With your naked eyes, you'll see a perfect landscape of the Grand Canyon.

Great View from the Yavapai Point

At the Backcountry office, I was so lucky to get a permission to get to the bottom and to camp there. The only worry is weather tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Now, I move on to the next thing to do, a flight. I went to the Grand Canyon Airport and looked for some flying club, where I can get an instructor and a Cessna. But I couldn't find it. They say that it is not allowed to do such kind of thing here in the Grand Canyon. So, I changed my mind to join a flight tour by a Cessna. I had a good negotiation to get a seat in the cockpit and to use my own headset. It was about $90 for 1 hour flight. We took off from runway 21 and turned north to the Grand Canyon. I got a wonderful view of the Canyon including the water of the Colorado River. The cliff was almost vertical and showed a beautiful color of red stripes. We flew over the Desert View, the Cape Solitude, the Nankoweap Mesa, the North rim and went back to the airport.

I tried to find a cheap Motel in Tusayan, but I couldn't. I went back to Williams which is at the junction of the State-64 and the Interstate-40. Williams is a historic town of the Route-66 and attracts many visitors. I enjoyed the good old western town and a T bone stake. Tonight, I will go to bed early to get enough energy for backpacking.

The entrance of Grand Canyon NP

View from Cessna

This is the Cessna

Historic town of route 66

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Copyright (C) Tadao Hashimoto