Well here I am at one of the Great Wonders of the World – and wow, what a wonder it is! My whole life, I’ve wanted to see Arizona’s Grand Canyon but nothing prepared me for just how beautiful – and how BIG! – it really is.
The ride up from Flagstaff was in itself an experience. I took the long way round – historic Route 66, then up Interstate 89 to Cameron, then westwards on the I-64, along Desert View Road, approaching the canyon from the east. At first the land was volcanic, with the San Francisco Peaks, still capped with snow, visible in the wing mirror for miles. Then the landscape turned to arid reddish-brown desert – it really reminded me of Namibia and immediately called to mind my journeys to the Fish River Canyon, which is second in size only to the Grand Canyon.
Oh and when I say “ride”, as luck would have it, on arriving in Flagstaff, I got chatting to a lovely guy who, it turned out, had a lovely bronze-coloured Honda Rebel gathering dust in the garage. Hearing about my plans to head for the Canyon, he immediately suggested I take the bike. It was an offer too good to resist and so, alongside all the ubiquitous Harley Davidson riders plying Route 66, here I am on a small-but-perfectly-formed Honda Rebel, tearing up the landscape with the best of ’em! 🙂
The first views of the mighty Canyon from the Desert View lookouts were absolutely breathtaking. I have to admit, a shed a little tear: I could barely believe I was here after so long dreaming about coming one day. The vast expanses of deep red, brown, cream and pale green rock, the intricately-chiselled cliff edges, and the sheer drops down the side of the canyon (it’s a mile deep!) left me breathless with wonder. At certain points I could see the rapids of the Colorado River gushing through the canyon far below, while up above condors circled and swooped, surveying the massive gash in the earth underneath them. I’ve seen many natural wonders in the world, but this has to be one of the most awe-inspiring, truly.
I’ve been here a few days now, staying in a lodge (Yavapai) buried deep in sweet-smelling pine forest. I’ve hiked many different trails, breathless in the searing heat (101ºF) and altitude (7,000ft). And anywhere I could ride to enjoy yet another vista, believe me, I’ve ridden there!
I leave tomorrow with a happy heart – and some brilliant photos. And more adventures await! Next I’m off to the Overland Expo just south of Flagstaff (via the scenic route, of course!) to mingle with the great and good of the adventure motorcycle and 4×4 overlanding world. Before then, I’ve got a bit more riding to do… 🙂
I am totally green with envy 🙂 I hope to do the Canyon and Zion park next year. between now and then I have some saving to do.
I may have to do some more research here for my trip. thanks for sharing.
Great to hear from you. I pinch myself every day that I’m actually here in Arizona riding through such incredible scenery – it’s definitely well worth saving the pennies for!
Good luck with the research for your trip – that’s all part of the fun! 🙂
Glad to hear your trip to the Canyon has been great. You remember asking me about the blue motorcycle in one of my pictures showing four bikes in the drive? It is a Honda Rebel. And now you’re riding one. Have fun at Ox. Got word from Charlie that he will not be attending now. So fill in good for him. Have fun.
Ah yes, how funny that I was indeed admiring your Honda Rebel and am now on one myself – I think they call that serendipity? 🙂
And yes, Charley’s now got to go filming for an exciting new TV series that’s come up. Shame he won’t be at the Expo but I’ll certainly be giving Billy all the help I can on the stand. Not to mention meeting lots of very interesting adventurous types…
Meantime, lots more Rebel riding to do!
It was worth the ride wasn’t it… Looking forward to the next post… Ride safe… Have fun…
It certainly was worth the ride – and then some!!
Loving the wide open roads here in the States, and there’s some stunning desert scenery here in Arizona. All good. 🙂