Up and going in the brisk morning air this morning with the sun shining and headed for the Grand Canyon to have another go at checking the views along the south rim. Fat chance of that. Rode in to reduce time taken by shuttle to get to the start point of the route. Brilliant idea but failure. We arrived to a line about three buses long, looked like it did when we stood in the rain yesterday. Waited for a couple of buses to pick up passengers but we were still in the queue. Each of these buses had returned with a load of passengers, dropped them off, then the driver stopped for a 10- 15 min break before resuming. A similar thing happened yesterday when we we all on the bus and the driver just walked off and returned about 10 minutes later. Supposed to be 15 minutes between buses, we had been in the queue about 45 minutes and seen two buses. If this is late in the season, I'd hate to see what it is like in peak season. Long story short, we didn't have time to wait so we took a short walk along the rim then returned to the bike and got underway.
Best decision we could have made, our route along Highway 64 actually followed the rim all the way around to the eastern end of the South Rim with numerous scenic view pullovers so we got similar access to that which we would have got from the route bus but much more varied. One of the highlights was the Watch Tower. This building looks like it was built at least a century or more ago but not so. The building tower was designed by architect Mary Colter to resemble an Ancient Pueblo Peoples watchtower and it uses similar materials and styles to represent the older historical buildings.
After leaving the Grand Canyon we continued east alongside a small canyon which was formed by and carries the Little Colorado River, the river seen joining the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon in yesterday's photos. Turning north at Cameron, we crossed the Little Colorado River and followed the western side of a range of hills. These hills had some interesting and spectacular formations and in places looked a lot like the Painted Desert we rode through a few days ago. We cut through a massive cutting in the range near Bitter Springs and headed further north for Page.
Just outside of Page, we stopped off to view the famous and picturesque Horseshoe Bend. This required a 1.2 klm each way walk over rough and sandy soil. Well worth it but despite its growing popularity and attraction to tourists, no real action has been taken to establish this into a State or National Park so the usual tourist facilities don't exist.
I'm not even going to talk about the hassles with the GPS today. We are in Page tonight and headed for Monument Valley tomorrow.
See you tomorrow night.
274 klms today, total to date 12970 klms.