American Southwest 1: Grand Canyon

May 16, 2016  •  2 Comments

When a former classmate Paul Mong proposed a photography-oriented tour of the Southwest (or the Grand Circle, as it is also known), it was tough to resist. Thanks to Paul's persistence, and meticulous organization, the tour finally came to fruition in May. Our good friend Eric Ching came all the way from Hong Kong for the 2-week trip. Sue and I were able to participate for only the first week. One week gave barely enough time to cover the southern half of Grand Circle (which encompasses Grand Canyon, Antelope Valley and Monument Valley). Eric and Paul then headed north to complete the second half of the Grand Circle from Moab to Zion.

Our trip was superb in every way - incredible scenery, excellent hikes, great reunion with old friends, and learning about an unfamiliar part of the country. Needless to say, we took lots of pictures. Even after an aggressive deletion of the mediocres and the duplicates, we have over 1400 photographs to edit. We will go through them in the next few weeks.

Below is our first segment.

Grand Canyon, South Rim - We arrived in late Saturday afternoon under miserable rainy weather. Sunset was out of the question; instead, we went to see an IMAX movie about Grand Canyon. The weather fortunately broke just in time on Sunday, as our schedule only allowed one day in the park.

For better or worse, Grand Canyon is one of the most commercially developed National Parks in the US. Can you think of another national park with a nearby IMAX theater? We do appreciate the free shuttle bus system. Some routes start at 4:30 am for the sunrise watchers and end at 10 pm for the dinner patrons. It was great to leave our cars idle for a day. More importantly, it cuts down greatly the vehicle traffic in the Park.

The highlight of the day was the South Kaibad trail, which zigzags down the canyon to the Colorado River about 5000 feet below the canyon rim. There were breathtaking views of the canyon at nearly every step. We could do only a small portion of this trail because of time constraint. We went down about 900 feet from the rim before turning back, for a roundtrip hike of approximately 3 miles. The hike was surprisingly tiring probably because of the high altitude (7000 feet). We spent the rest of the afternoon walking leisurely along the rim and ended our day watching and shooting sunset from Hopi Point. 

Here are selected photos from that Sunday:  Grand Canyon 2016​  or  Grand Canyon Slideshow   

Links to other blogs of our Southwest trip:  

American Southwest 2: Page & Antelope Canyon

American Southwest 3: Monument Valley & Canyon de Chelly


Comments

Hau Lee(non-registered)
Loved your pictures. You captured the spirits of the grandness of the place so well.
Helen Gleason(non-registered)
Spectacular. Thank you!
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