Monday dawned clear, sunny, and beautiful over Grand Canyon, and we made the best of it. The crowds thinned considerably from Sunday, so we could hike, eat, and enjoy all there is to see at our own pace.
On Sunday, we stopped to talk with a ranger and had looked through his telescope to see one of the California Condors in his nest. These remarkable birds — now being re-established in the wild after having a brush with extinction — have a 9′ wing span, fly at about 55 miles per hour, and can soar to 20,000 feet and then coast for two hours.
So imagine our surprise on our way to breakfast on Monday when a California Condor (#72 as tagged on his wings — he was that close) came swooping over our heads looking for his breakfast. It was wonderful, and I whipped out the camera and captured this picture as he circled overhead. The size of this bird was amazing…as Andrew points out, just think that one wing is about the size of a short person. Very majestic — and a great start to the day.
We hiked for most of the day — a short ways down into the canyon and then more time up on the South Rim. We saw unforgettable views, took videos and photos for the family scrapbook, and all picked up a little sun. In the morning we stopped to view a very nice exhibit on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and their work at the Grand Canyon. The evening ended with a great dinner in the main dining hall at El Tovar.
But tomorrow (actually today since this is being posted on 8/12 in east coast time) will begin very early. Andrew was checking his email and came across a note about a meteor shower tonight. He went downstairs to check, and found out that a ranger will lead a viewing this morning between 2 – 4 a.m. When Claire protested about getting up at that hour, Andrew said “it is a meteor shower over the Grand Canyon! How often do you have a chance like that?!?” Needless to say, we’re all going to try and attend. We’ll let you know on the next post how it turned out.
More to come…