Monday, May 31, 2010
The Splendid Gorge
The first time I saw the Grand Canyon was in the 70s when we were crossing the country, and along the way my wife lobbied for a stop at the big hole. I saw it on the map, and it seemed to me to be too far off the highway we were traveling to bother. I futilely argued, "I've seen it in magazines and on calendars, murals, movies and photos. I know what it looks like." BL: "Please!" Me: "Okay." So we took the extra time and trouble. So when I got out of the car and went to the railing at the edge, my mouth involuntarily dropped open and my eyes widened. It truly awesome.
So now ever since our 50th anniversary we have been planning to take the package tour advertised at the AAA office, which is a ride on the Grand Canyon Railroad from Williams, AZ, to the Canyon and back. We have been providentially hindered for 2.5 years. You know things like pneumonia have a way of changing your plans. Now that we have done it, I simply have to say the same old trite things like, "Wow! How awesome!" I didn't feel like driving to Williams, so we added an Amtrack ticket from LA to Williams to our experience. We stayed in a nice hotel in Williams one night going and one night coming back. We also stayed in the motel overnight at the canyon. This gave us more than a full day at the park to try to take it all in.
On the train one sees a few scary people. There was a lady behind our seat who neglected to hear the call for Riverside, and stayed on the train, bewildered. Then a couple of gang bangers were arguing about whether or not the one had been dissed. There was the lady whose husband was just too large to come from the sleeper to breakfast in the diner. There but for the grace of God... On the train from Williams to the park we met a few nutty people including a contrived train robbery, a troubadour with a few old western songs and a little lame humor.