Saturday, 29th December
Up at 7:30. No snow overnight or dew (too dry). Breakfast was a bit crowded (New Year weekend) and there was too long a queue for the 2 waffle makers (not that some people bothered to queue). Left at 9:15 for Grand Canyon South Rim. We drove through the world’s biggest Ponderosa Pine forest and looked in vain for deer/elk. There was a good snow covering all the way. We arrived at the National Park at 10:40 and bought some things in the gift shop before seeing the IMAX movie of the Grand Canyon. We paid $25 park entry and finally saw our first group of elk near the road.
We got out of the car at the first few view points in lightly falling snow! It was -2 degrees C and it stayed that temperature all day. We were pleased to have heated car seats every time we got in. The views were great – huge cliffs and spans, spectacular colours and the patches of snow everywhere really added to it. We had lunch in the Grand Canyon Cafeteria and bought some more things in the gift shop. We then drove the rest of the road along the rim and stopped at most of the lookout points. There seemed to be a lot of visitors but in summer it must be extremely overcrowded. We took lots of photos but only a few had glimpses of the sun.
Before leaving at 4:30 we stopped back at the first look out as the sun was out (almost) and we thought we would see a sunset. However it was about 5 degrees colder (the wind) and everyone seemed to be there, so after one photo we got back into our warm car and headed off.
Saw a lovely sunset on the way and took some photos of an RV park with a Flintstone car and giant Fred Flintstone out the front.
Bought a few things at Safeway and arrived back at our motel at 6:45. Dinner of snacks and ice cream. Sent some emails and wrote some postcards.