April 15, 2014

Grand Canyon West

My husband and I got to experience our very first kid free vacation ever...yup, EVER!  It was long overdue and we went to Las Vegas.  Now, I've been to Vegas before and enjoyed my time there, but what I really wanted to do was cross off a line item on my bucket list and see the Grand Canyon! 

And it was AH-MAY-ZING!!!  We took a tour bus down to Grand Canyon West which is located on the Haulapai Indian Reservation.  Before we got there, we got to do a very quick stop off at the Hoover Dam.

They no longer let you tour inside the dam, so a quick stop satisfied me.  The thing that surprised me is just how low the water is.  Hoping for rain to relieve the drought out west. 

Once we got onto the Hualapai Reservation, we hopped onto a shuttle to take us out to Eagle Point.  Can you see why it's called Eagle Point?

Eagle Point is also the home to the incredible Skywalk Bridge.

Now, my husband and I freaked many other tourists out.  We ventured close to the edge (I took the photo above while straddling a crack in the canyon) and jumped on the Skywalk.  To the Greek lady, I'm sorry my husband made you cry and to the group of Chinese ladies, you made my husband's day.  He freaked them out, then they wanted photos with him.  I wonder what they told their friends about the crazy blonde guy? 

When you go out onto the Skywalk, you can't bring anything with you.  They have camera men there to take a bunch of photos for you that you can purchase.  They give them all to you on a thumb drive with many of the souvenir photos that they use for their postcards like the one below.

We lived it up and our camera man was having fun too.  This photo was his idea.  One of many fun and crazy ones. 

We even did push ups while looking down at the canyon bottom, because, why not!

We also got to walk through examples of different styles of Native American dwellings and even got to meet some Hualapai dancers.

After Eagle Point and the Skywalk, we took a shuttle out to Guano Point for lunch and more Canyon viewing.

That is the best view I have ever experienced while eating any meal.  It made a cafeteria style meal feel and taste so much better than what I am sure it was.  After lunch I went and sat on a small boulder at the edge of the Canyon to meditate and just breathe it all in. 

Guano point was just gorgeous.  It was surrounded on three sides by the canyon and you could even hike up to the top of the Ant Hill for a better view.  I took this panorama half way up the Ant Hill.

I even took a great photo which put into perspective just how small we really are in comparison to the Grand Canyon. 

I took the above photo from half way up the Ant Hill and my husband on the edge of the Grand Canyon.  Best Captain Morgan pose I have seen!

Wishing that this trail was open, I would have loved to have been able to walk down part of the Canyon. 

I would (in a heart beat) head back to the Grand Canyon, even though I did dream of jumping out and flying over the Canyon for many nights.  It was an amazing and freeing feeling but also completely freaked me out at the same time.  I don't think I have had dreams that vivid before.

I have two regrets while visiting the Grand Canyon: I couldn't see the sun rise or set while there and that I didn't have more time there.  Since we took the shuttle, we ended up with just over 4 hours there and it went so quickly.

If I go back, which rim do you suggest I see next?  Is it worth hiking all the way down and camping?  Have you ever rafted the canyon?  I honestly want to try it all!


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