by Nyro, Sunday 11 May 2008 at 06:55:34 AM :: Stage
As my brother came with a friend for a 2 weeks road trip around California and neighborhood states, I traveled with them for 4 days. 4 days to run on sunny roads, between deserts and mountains. 4 days, 4 posts.
Wake up projected at 5am. Real at 5:15. Leaving at 5:20 with the car to reach a point of view a little bit far. Arrival at 5:29, the sky is already orange. The sunrise was indicate at 5:33, we're coming just on time. 20ish people already waited that the sun lights its first ray inside the canyon, in the cold that a desert night could create. As we're in the South Rime, it's growing up in front of us. The canyon ground is very dark. Then the sun show itself. The canyon enlightens itself little by little.
Around 5:45, Damien and François want go back to sleep. As I know I won't be possible for me to sleep again, I decided to walk back alone alone, by using the pedestrian way along the canyon. They go away and I'm starting to walk, stopping sometimes to contemplate the canyon which turn red more and more. It's cold because of the blowing wind. At this moment, I wanted to call a French friend, but the network told me that I can't. Nevermind I'm texting him.
Continuing my way I meet more and more people when I'm getting closer to the hostel. One group prepares themself to walk down to the canyon, others runs and others walk, like me, by keeping an eye in the canyon. After walking 3/4 of an hour to go though 4 miles (I'll learn that later), I'm now where I should leave to canyon to reach the hostel. It's 6:30. The 2nd wakeup is schedule around 8. I take again the free bus to go up to the last West point where we went yesterday, to see the colour change. I'm the only one in the bus. 2 couples took the bus at the second stop and leave it to the 3rd. Arrived at the last stop, I'm going to the edge to see the canyon so uch reder than yesterday. The skimming sun emphasizes the red colour. Almost too red as the pictures we all saw. (cf the last photo above)
Enjoying the view and talking many photos, I'm going down 15 minutes later to reach the room. When I'm arriving, it's 7:30. I let my camera here and go to the loung to take a small breakfast. It'll be a cinnamon roll with an orange juice. (yes, I know, I don't eat too much in the morning). Once I'm done, I'm keeping sit down to read some ad and whistle like a bird, maybe unconsciously. 2 tables away, some people starts to watch the ceiling to see this bird. When they don't see in my direction, I whistle again to keep them looking for an unreal bird. Stop to play, it's almost 8. I'm coming back to the room to wake up them and start this day.
Schedule: Continue along the canyon to the west to see some new points of view and take new photos, to finish at the last point. Then we'll go to Monument Valley which will be the second park of the travel.
Because we stopped at many points of view, we're growing tired a little bit; We're under the impression that we're seeing the same thing everytime. Actually the Grand Canyon is more impressive than cute in my mind. The first sensation stay probably the best. This sensation of voidness, immensity aside us. BTW, we're continuing to the end of the road to finish at the last point of view. It's noon, there is many people and it's very hot. It's difficult to take the place to take the photo at the end of the handrail. This noon, it's picnic again with view on the Grand Canyon this time. A little bit distant of the touristic area, a small squirrel came with us, eating in our hand, even trying to steal our food. An opportunity for more photos and some fun.
It's finish with the Grand Canyon, direction the next step: Monument Valley. To the ones who don't know, it's the big block rock in the middle of the desert. Scenes of many Western, of back to the future 3, Lucky Luke Comics, etc...
when leaving the Grand Canyon, we could see the start of it with many small canyons in the middle of the plain. Some native american are aside the road to seel their products. The road to Monument Valley goes fast in 3 hours in the middle of the desert, with only some others cars. Once pass Kayenta, we're sensing the Western atmosphere, by seeing some block around the road. To enter to the park we have to pay $10. As a matter of fact it's not a national parc but a indian reserve. Once we're parked we're talking some photos and enjoying the landscape. It's not a so big feeling of immensity than the Grand Canyon. Here it's more the atmosphere Indian/Western -emphasizing with the pan flute music-, the landscape beauty, and this blocks so particular.
After a quick break we're talking again the car to road in a non-paved way around the blocks to see more points of view of this monuments. The opportunity to see free horses, the John Wayne Shadow, and to feel more away from the modern civilization.
We made the whole way in about 2 hours, perfect to arrive on time just before 7pm and the sunset. This time the sun is on our back, a perfect light. A native american -not a cow-boy, the hat doesn't make it- pose here for his family (and the tourists?) for shooting some great pictures. He doesn't move from an inch.
Once the sun is away, time for us to reach our hostel. Direction Mexican Hat, a too little village in the same way. The GPS will be totally loose to find this village. We're arriving at 7:30pm to check-in. The receptionist specify if we want eat in her restaurant, we have to go now because it's already 8:30 here. After thinking and checking, we understood that we changed of state and in the same time of hour. We're going to eat now an Indian meal, which lacks of savor. Then in the room, everybody is tired of the long day -sunrise and sunset. The beds got really good springs, I asked my brother to shoot some bed Bed Jump: