We drove around the spaghetti plate that is the Grand Canyon village for a while trying to find a good place to view the sunrise. Unfortunately, the viewpoint we had chosen as being one of the best for sunrise was one of those only accessible by the tour bus during this part of the year, but we didn’t know that, so our GPS was trying to take us where we could not go. We ended up going to Mather Point instead and just made the sunrise.
My first view of the Grand Canyon was breathtaking. It felt surreal, dreamlike, almost unreal. Yes, that was worth reiterating. :) The depth is beyond comprehension. My eyes couldn’t process it all. The canyon walls looked almost flat to me in all its depth once I looked far enough down. The light on the canyon was dim as the sun was not quite up, and it was very cold. There was still snow on the ground in the shadows near us.
There was a small crowd but not enough to be uncomfortable. I am glad we were not there during peak season. The international makeup of the group was not wholly unexpected, but still something to get used to. We talked with an English speaking American couple on the way from the parking lot to the rim's edge, but that was the last bit of English I heard for awhile. I would like to think that we Americans were awed into silence by the beauty of our own country, but we were probably just dumbfounded by the unnatural (to us) feel of being at a meeting of the United Nations.
Zachary set up his new tripod, and I held the baby. She was cold, she was starting to lose her personality, so I rushed her to the warm restrooms as soon so the sun appeared. Thankfully, Mather Point is fully equipped with warm facilities.
The day became quite pleasant after a short time, and we went back out. The sunbeams danced in the canyon -- delightful! We walked around and took more pictures at Mather Point before walking to the next point over.
Anna fell asleep in my arms just before we got on the bus, and she stayed a sleep for quite some time. Even the Grand Canyon was not going to interfere with her nap! She stayed asleep even as we got on and off the bus, walked around, and took pictures.
Some of the best views are only accessible by bus (or foot) during this time of year (hence our frustration earlier in the day), so we went all the way with the bus and got off to look around at almost every stop. I handed Anna to Zachary when my arms and wrists wore out.
I put Anna in her sling carrier when she woke up. It was perfect timing for our "real" hike. We walked more than a mile between It was a dirt path that took us quite close to the edge and was even steep in a few places.
The entire experience left me wanting to sing God's praises over the rim and across the canyon for all the rocks, chipmunks, and birds (flying below us) to hear, but my introverted personality bottled it up and poured it out to my Heavenly Father in a silent prayer of awe and wonder that was equally heartfelt. Our God is awesome and worthy of all praise!
We went all the way with the bus to Hermit’s Rest, a building built on the rim in 1914. We left the Grand Canyon about 2:00 and drove through Chino Valley (where my Grand Uncle Tom and Aunt Nancy live) and went to the hotel down in Prescott (where my grandparents Moore were married). We were so exhausted. The evening at the hotel was a much needed time to relax.