I left Durango not sure whether to feel assured or concerned about my brand new tires. I drove through desert listening to Navajo Nation Public Radio. I stopped to get a map of Arizona, after my gps lost signal and then again at the Four Corners Monument. It was there that I stood on the Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada line and shopped for turquoise souvenirs.
I later got to experience the very tall Elephant Ear and continue the long drive to the Grand Canyon.
I pulled into the campground around dark, so I decided I wanted to not see the canyon until the next morning, so I could really soak it in. It is very large. Just as large as everyone describes it. It beckons to be explored, but unfortunately as a person hiking by myself, I didn’t feel comfortable overnight backpacking to the bottom.
I did hike below the rim a little ways… I made it down to Ooo-La-La Point. I’m glad I actually did decide to hike below the rim some. It gives you an entirely different perspective.
The day I left, I also went over to look at the historic camp buildings. For being a park, the Grand Canyon is actually like a little town. It has permanent residents, a general store and many other amenities. There are a ton of people who just take pictures at the rim, so I suggest hiking below the rim on your visit, even if you can’t go down that far.