They shouldn’t call it the Grand Canyon…

3 06 2010

In Ireland, if you’re feeling a bit average, a bit blegh, a bit nothing, and someone says to you “how are you?”, the typical response is “eh, grand.”

In the words of Ed Byrne: based on that, I was expecting the Grand Canyon to be a bit shit. It’s not! It’s fucking brilliant! In fact, they should call it the Fucking Brilliant Canyon.

All jokes aside, this really was an incredible sight. The photos we took really couldn’t convey the sheer magnitude of the Grand Canyon. It’s massive. From Vegas, the closest place to view the canyon is from the west rim – but as our tour guide said, this is on a native american reservation, and they have certain rules about what you’re allowed to do there (no photos, for starters – which sort of defeats the purpose for many). So we went to the south rim (as I’m writing this I’m very aware that I may have mixed these two up. If I have – sorry!), where you aren’t restricted.

Our tour guide was really knowledgeable, which made the trip waaaaayyy better. Even Mark (the eternal sceptic when it comes to ‘sightseeing’ that he didn’t choose) was convinced and ended up really enjoying himself.

First stop was the Hoover Dam, which is actually quite small. They’re building a massive bridge across it so that you can actually get some decent photos of the dam, so we feel quite priviledged to have actually driven across the dam (as you won’t be able to do it in future).

Sitting on top of the world

This rock hung over a cliff...

Then we arrived in Grand Canyon National Park. You can tell you’re driving at elevation when you can feel the slight change in air pressure in your ears. It’s not dramatic, but you notice it. They warned us that we could see elk, wolves, deer, squirrels, and quite a few species of bird (including the extremely endangered California Condor – most noticeable by its 9 foot wingspan). Unfortunately, we didn’t see any Condors, but we did see a massively fat squirrel (eating a chocolate bar of all things – typical!), and an elk! Funnily enough, she was crossing the road as we were leaving. Why did the elk cross the road, you ask? I’ve no fucking idea. We nearly hit her with our car! Bit dangerous, if you ask me.

So yeah, the Canyon was amazing. Great stuff – one of those things you know you’ll never be able to see anywhere else in the world. I’d really like to go back and see it properly. Apparently there are these trips you can take where you ride mules down into the canyon, camp under the stars, that sort of thing. Sounded pretty incredible.

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