The 2011 Trip
Part 126 – The Grand Canyon – Sedna – Land Rover

Monday, April 4th, 2011

At 4:10AM the temperature was 62.8F that felt like 62.8F under a clear sky.

It was a rather sleepless night. I awoke at 2AM and could not get back to sleep. The coyotes howled some around 2:30AM. At ten minutes to four Corky started barking. One can tell we have been camped here for awhile. We not only know the dogs names but can tell them by their bark. Corky is a little dog that is part corgis and lives in the motorhome across from us. We have no idea why he barked. Maybe he thought he heard a javelina or something. He lives with a girl who lives in the motorhome alone. She reminds me so much of my cousin Cathy I came close to calling her Cathy at times.

Joan and I took off and arrived at Denny’s on West Deer Valley Road in North Phoenix at 6:15AM. There was plenty of traffic at that early hour. We could hear the traffic starting to build about 3:30AM.

The Southwest Custom Tours Inc. vehicle met us and we left for the Grand Canyon at 7:30AM. What a day! It cost Joan and I $234.00 for the day just for the tour. That was $117.00 each. We had to buy our meals extra but it was worth every penny. Had we gone on our own we would never have seen a fraction of what we saw and learned about Arizona from here to there and especially there. This tour definitely has the Joan and Spud seal of approval. We highly recommend it to anyone. Lee was our driver and guide and he was excellent in both. They can be contacted at: www.southwesttours.com

To begin with we learned this little fellow is a Desert Cottontail. There are a lot of them all over the area and especially here in the park. Joan took this picture on December 27th.
We had breakfast at Denny's before leaving for the Grand Canyon. This is my brother Dick, brother-in-law Oscar, sister Nancy and sister-in-law Donna across from Dick; or going clockwise around their table.
This is the Ford one ton van that we did the tour in. There was a doctor from Pennsylvania, a couple from Manitoba and we six making a total of nine in the party.
A lot of the trip was through one of the largest Indian Reservations in North America and Lee gave us a lot of detail on the three deserts and the Arizona first nation natives; the Indians as we more commonly refer to them. There are 22 Indian Reservations in Arizona and 21 of them have casinos. This is the foremost Indian casino of the lot up in back of the van having won several awards as the best of the bunch. We stopped here for a quick break.
This is another Indian Craft shop and Restaurant. We had lunch here. The servings are so large we each split the one order and it was plenty for both. Things were expensive. Blankets for $4,000.00 each, paintings for four or five hundred dollars each, and so on. We bought a few post cards. There were native Navajo first nation people waiting on us. That is Dick out bound with a full head of steam on his cane.
Joan and I took 92 photographs of the Grand Canyon and have had to delete very few. We started the tour on the east end of the canyon's south side in Grand Canyon National Park and terminated it on the west end. We did not visit the north end or the plexiglass walk out over the wall. The plexiglass walk was about 60 miles from us. It is very expensive in order to walk out on that walk and Lee said it really is not worth it. You are not allowed to take photographs from the walk.
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These are various views of the canyon and the Colorado River below from the east end of the south wall.

This is the Watchtower.



This is inside the Watchtower and is the ceiling inside the Watchtower.
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These photographs were taken from up in the Watchtower. There are 85 steps up into the tower.
This is a description of the Watchtower.
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These photographs were taken just west of the Watchtower. There are five million tourists that visit the Grand Canyon each year.
No, this is not Chief Walking Eagle named because he was too full of crap to fly. This is Dick enjoying the view.

This is Joan and I enjoying the experience. It was cool. There was a few old snow banks stuck on the sides of the cliffs. There were also old snowbanks alongside interstate highway 17 just north of Flagstaff.


We left the eastern end of the south side and proceeded to the western end. Lee slowed the van so we could take this photograph out the van window. The Grand Canyon Park Rangers would not permit him to stop so we could get out.

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These are all photographs taken west of the Watchtower towards the western end of the south side of the canyon in the Grand Canyon National Park.


This is Joan standing on the little rock wall along the edge of the walk. Note the rock ledge in behind her.

Joan took this photograph through a hole in that rock wall she is standing on above. That hole was over by the lady taking a photograph.

Joan went out on that ledge behind her in the above photograph and took this photograph of the rest of us standing around the van.

Joan took this photograph from the above ledge.

Joan took this photograph from the above ledge and note the old snow banks over on the canyon wall in the centre of the photograph.

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Joan took these photographs from the above ledge.
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These photographs were taken at our third stop along the south wall of the Grand Canyon within the Grand Canyon National Park. Note that the green one sees down there is not grass. It is full grown Ponderosa Pine trees. Those trees gave the ranch it's name in the old Bonanza TV program.

Note the road down there and the bridge. Also note the trail. That trail is the trail the mules use. They have a herd of mules, if that is the proper terminology, that take tourists to the bottom of the canyon. A mule is the perfect animal. It will not go where it is not safe and they do not get excited A horse is simply a ball of nerves that will explode when anything startles it or something happens that will cause it to get excited. A lot of people have jumped off a mule thinking it was unsafe and were going over the edge. They went over the edge and mule did not.

Left to right: Donna, Joan, Lee our guide and the couple from Manitoba. His name was Allen and we failed to get her name. He farmed and worked in a grain elevator in Manitoba.
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This was our fourth and final stop of the Grand Canyon tour. We did make a couple of stops on the way back to Denny's on West Deer Valley Road, Phoenix.

We saw old snow banks coming down through Flagstaff as stated. Sedona and the surrounding area reminded us a lot of some places in British Columbia and Wyoming as we came down through.

We have been on the look out for some British Land Rovers. They are the British answer to the American Jeep. We found the one military one at Falcon Field as recorded on our visit there. We have also seen a Range Rover, a part of the Land Rover fleet with Utah plates on it. Today we saw another Range Rover and a Discovery. The Discovery is another part of the Land Rover fleet. They sell them here in Phoenix and Tucson so they are here and it was just a matter of keeping an eye out for them. The Range Rover has always appeared to me to be a bit fancy for beating around in rough terrain, but if you have the money and can afford it. Why not?

This was another fantastic day in the land of Arizona.

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