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Holy Cow!  It is everything and more…one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, on a trip with many.  Think maybe this’ll take more than one post?

Day 1—for those of you who’ve done the Park, you’ll know exactly our route.  We parked at the Visitor Center and then did the 3-mile hike/walk on the Rim Trail (hey, Michael and Sharon we’ll call it a “WIKE!”  But, wait, need a wike involve off-road?  Then maybe it’s only a walk?) all the way to the Village.  Yes, it was indeed HOT but so amazing that I stopped obsessing about my sweating sunburn.  Even with large LBJ ranch acquired-hat, long sleeves and 100 SFP.  Those Irish genes!

Then, a late lunch (continuing the mid-day large meal of the day tradition) at El Tovar, which if this is the “good” food in the entire region made me thank god for our backseat companion, Coleman.  Plugged in Coleman.  Purveyor of veggies, fruit, hummus…which I’m a bit sick of, but it’s better than…

So, now, facing facts:  I have asthma.  20 years ago I discovered a low 02 sat when Marnie and Dave were testing out our new 02sat machine in the office (“gail, c’mere! we need you!”  How many times did you guys say that in those first years at CMO?!)  I will now admit, after 20 years of denial, that I do indeed have a chronic lung problem.  Altitude at 7,000 feet, a Wike, 100 degrees for days on end, that’s what did it for me: by mid-afternoon chest aching, unbearable fatigue, chest so tight it is the classic elephant perched saying, “ready, now, finally, to cry uncle?!”  Yep.  Lesson learnt.  Back on the controller (even if dug from purse bottom and technically expired.) cough, cough.

So, more guilt.  David would’ve gone throught the 8:30 pm Ranger talk, I only managed to do the “red” Village route shuttle bus for the afternoon, begging to quit by 6pm.  If the yucky hotel had been a bit more pleasant…

A prototypical Gail “let me speak to your manager” discussion the first day we arrived (of course, every trip has to have one!  I was nice, I swear…)  The manager was apparently aware of the Trip Advisor comments about cleanliness.  Good for him!  But, honestly, I’ll second the many many many people before me really horrified by Xterra, private contractor for the services in many of national parks.  Such awful maintenance, disinterested customer service.  I did manage to get $150 off the room rate, but it hardly brought it down to a realistic price.  Isn’t that ridiculous?  In the end, minor irritation, resolved.

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4 thoughts on “Good God Grand Canyon!

  1. Gail- what a great trip you two are having! I did not realize that David and I discovered you had asthma years ago! I thought you always had it! Any chance you will be taking the mules down to the bottom of the canyon?

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