Back from the Grand Canyon and points beyond safe, but a bit redder. The trip got off to a bizarre start when I was assigned the lucky seat on the plane next to a guy who was several tacos short of a combination. Despite how much I detest America West Airlines, we were fortunate to be flying them because we were running late. If we would have been on Southwest, we would have been stuck in the middle.
The trip to the GC from Phoenix wasn’t as bad as I thought. A mere four hours and we were at the hotel in Tusayan. I’m glad we got up when we did on Sunday. As it was, we had to wait a good 20 minutes in line to pay our fees to get into the park. As spectacular as the canyon is, I really think that a major redo of the South Rim needs to be done. Get rid of the cars, increase the train service, and push over all of the dilapidated historic houses that have been turned into gaudy gift shops. Its time to take back the National Parks, especially the overused ones like the poor Grand Canyon. It looks like they are on their way to improving the area with the new visitor’s center and rehabilitations of some trails, but for Pete’s sake people – STOP throwing money into the canyon. It’s not Nature’s biggest wishing well. Donate the money to the restoration fund or something. I did have a great time though, and I am glad I finally got to see the canyon as an adult. As far as anyone could tell, no one threw their dog into the canyon on this trip.
The rest of the weekend was spent socializing with the family, playing diaper-patrol in the pool (it doesn’t involve real diapers, just straddling rafts and trying to knock others off), and generally B-B-Q’ing my shoulders. I guess I am just getting ready for Tahiti. The other great highlight was seeing who could dive through a small-ish inflatable ring. Amazing as it was, I was surprised that Kevin and I made it through head-first and feet-first and almost fell over laughing when Wes got stuck – both ways. It took some practice for me to get all the way through, and Kevin managed to do some stylized dives.