More of the Grand Canyon … and Then Some

There is a very good free shuttle service that moves people from one vantage point to another all along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s certainly not as convenient as your own car, but it doesn’t take much imaginatioin to visualize the monumental traffic congestion — nevermind the additional pollution — that would result without that service.

From one of the outlooks a few miles from our hotel, we got quite a gook look at the Colorado River nearly a mile below us. It’s hard to believe that the river could have scoured this amazing mega-ditch, even over the hundreds of millions of years the geologists say the process took.

From still another lookout, a mile or so farther on, we could see two turkey vultures circling far below us. These birds have wingspreads of as much as seven feet, which helps explain how they are able to soar effortlessly, literally for hours, on the winds swirling through the canyon.

On the third morning, we left the Grand Canyon and drove to Moab, Utah, setting down there for two nights while we explored Monument Valley. This is not one of our national parks, but is part of the Navajo nation, which is responsible for the entire area.

We were particularly impressed by what appeared to be the nearly-new View Hotel, the only hotel in Monument Valley. It was beautifully designed to blend into the side of the mesa over looking the valley and giving hotel guests … well … the view. We would have enjoyed staying there, but the concierge at the El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon had apparently never heard of it. Strange … perhaps even more than strange.

Next: More photos of Monument Valley and others from Arches National Park.