This was the first time I had been to the Grand Canyon, and it was all that I expected and more. This picture was taken from the South Rim.
We completed our day yesterday with a delightful dinner at a wonderful French Restaurant called Vermillion 45, recommended to us by the front desk clerk at Canyon Boutique Hotel. It was just a short way from the hotel, and we were quite impressed by the ambience of the place. Becky had a fish soup, and I had a salmon dish; both were delicious and of course, we had a bottle of wine (Pinot Noir) to compliment the meal. However, the appetizer was a first for Becky. I love escargot and so I ordered some. Becky had never eaten snails and although she was not as crazy about them as I was, she enjoyed them and the wonderful bread they served with them. As we drove back to the hotel, we wondered about the name “Vermillion.” From our “Google Machine,” as our son-in-law calls it, we discovered vermillion is a color made from mercury byproducts, which means it is poisonous. A strange name for a restaurant, we thought, but more about that later. At the end of our meal, we returned to the hotel to end our day.
In the morning, we enjoyed a delightful breakfast at the hotel and set out for the Grand Canyon. For some reason we thought our destination was the North Rim, so we set out for there. As it turned out, our hotel was at the South Rim but that was ok. The North Rim was beautiful. We hiked to one lookout point after arriving at the visitor center. It was easy going down, but not so easy coming back as the trail was a rather steep downhill descent so coming back was a task. I have to say, however, I did pretty well. It was 8100 feet in elevation. However, I am disappointed to say that I did not make it all the way to the end. It was not because I was winded. I wasn’t. It was because the canyon walls are so high, and I do not do well with heights. I was ok until I came to one of the last sections of the hike. It was a narrow bridge bordered by steep cliffs plunging hundreds of feet on both sides. I decided I was on vacation to relax, not scare myself to death so I did not cross. Becky did, but sadly I turned back. Following the hike, we found a delightful picnic area and enjoyed a picnic lunch before starting towards the South Rim.
To get to the South rim from the North Rim means basically driving around the Grand Canyon. To do so meant winding down through a canyon as we descended from the mountainous North Rim. On the way, I saw a sign, “Scenic view ahead.” As we rounded the corner, the view opened to magnificent cliffs. They jutted up 100s of feet and were breathtaking indeed. They were named the “Vermillion Cliffs,” the namesake of the restaurant where we had eaten the night before. They were spectacular and ran for miles along the highway.
The Vermillion Cliffs – breathtaking and majestic
When we finally reached the South Rim and entered the park, there was a parking area, which promised to give us our first view of the canyon. It too was spectacular but was so different from the Northern Rim. Great expanses of canyon opened before us, cliffs reaching high into the air and colors of purple, blue and brownish reds tantalizing our visual senses with its magnificence and grandeur. It was absolutely amazing.
Harold and Becky took obligatory pictures at the viewpoint of the South Rim. The Colorado River is seen running through the Canyon in the picture at bottom. The tower to the right was patterned after Native American towers in the Southwest. It was used to view the spectacular views of the Canyon.
We returned to the car and started towards the place we were to stay for the next few days, the Red Feather Lodge in Grand Canyon Village. The room was not opulent, but it was quite nice and, in this place too, I didn’t have to type on the cooler. It will be a nice place to reside for the next several days. With this and having had a very good Mexican feast at a local restaurant, we ended our day and look forward to the adventures tomorrow will bring.