Saturday, July 14: Grand Canyon
“Oh, *that* elk!”
Out plan was to get up at 4:40 and catch the sunrise over the canyon. We also wanted to photograph the canyon in the morning light before the clouds came up. Amy and I got up on time and then managed to drag Mike out of bed. We left the hotel only to find....
that it was raining (and solid overcast). So we went back to our room and tried going back to sleep. Mike didn’t. Amy might have. I sort of did. Then we got up, had breakfast, and drove into the park.
Our first stop was the visitor’s center and the two movies there. We then drove out the east side highway, stopping to take pictures. It was raining off and on lightly. There were swirling clouds in the canyon. Sometimes you could see a little, sometimes nothing, and sometimes more.
Mid-afternoon the rain stopped, but the high clouds remained, and the swirling clouds in the canyon did their things. They meant that the view could change dramatically from minute to minute. We eventually ended up at the end, where the watch tower was.
It was a really neat building. It was built during modern times, but it was designed to look like an old Indian tower. They did a very good job at that.
The temperature was around 55-60; a far cry from just a few days earlier.
We came back to the village to catch a talk on Condors that was at 5:00. We actually got a glimps of them in the distance. Afterwards we had dinner at the lodge cafe. We finished up around 7:30. I was tempted to wait for the 8:30 talk, but that was too late.
On the way to the car, Mike suddenly said, “look at the antlers!” I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. After he repeated himself a few times, we saw this big head and then an even bigger body came up over the rise. It was a large elk with a full rack. The light was low, but I got a bunch of pictures. It pretty much ignored us (and the other people around) and just started grazing on the lawn in front of one of the lodges, next to the bus stop. The people really didn’t faze it.
We couldn’t find Amy’s cell phone that evening, and when I checked the car, it was raining again. So we had no plans to try to get up for sunrise again.