Saturday, 2 May 2009


In order to get over our jet-lag we travelled a couple of days ahead of The Big Day and to that end were delighted to have time to visit the Grand Canyon.

I had thought it would be all monochrome and was amazed to find it was very colourful - reds, rusts, sandy yellows and brown, orange and green. Of course, what is most impressive is the size! The Colorado River cuts this deep and wide gorge through the continental land mass of the USA bit of North America.

The well-maintained path along the top enables one to stroll easily and take photos etc. This bluebird caught my eye. There were lots of lizards too. No condors but there were signs saying not to throw coins into the canyon as they pick them up in their beaks and eat them - leading to their death.

A cold front came over at the end of the day causing a dump of snow on these Ponderosa pines in the Arizona desert.

The road to Grand Canyon goes over the Hoover Dam, built in the 1930s, to dam the water on the Colorado River. The dam does not suffer any discoloration as you might expect in a damp climite. The concrete was pristine white even after all these years. Those engineers really did a good job (but you don't hear about the loss of lives in its construction - due to lack of ventilation when the tunnels were being built.)

The place was a hive of activity due to the fact that a new road is being built to by-pass the dam. At the moment you literally drive over the top of the dam. These are the two sides of the arch being built for the bridge that is to span the gorge. This will carry the heavy traffic that heads from Las Vegas (and before that, California) to Phoenix, Arizona.

What amazed us was the fact that this is all desert and that Las Vegas itself was originally just a watering hole in the middle of a route between 2 population centres. (Vegas is now a huge city with an airport immediately adjacent to the built-up area with planes hauling tourists in from every direction!)

1 comment:

Vagabonde said...

Very nice pictures. I have not been to the Grand Canyon yet - one of the major natural wonders of the world they say, and it surely looks like it. You must have had a great trip.