Grand Canyon Trip

Just got back from Grand Canyon trip!

Decided to go during off season and since son is homeschooled?  We can do it!

Booked trip through AAA which does a great job with taking care of all the details like train tickets, hotel reservations, and extra bonuses.

First off, it was a whole 30 degrees cooler in Williams, Arizona.  I wore a long sleeve shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes.  Cracked me up when I checked in, the reception desk lady told me, "You need to wear something warmer as it's 30 degrees outside!"

Another huge plus of the trip was I was able to verify some research I did on the desert area.

In my revision my protagonist lives in a cult-like community in the desert outside of Arizona/Utah.  It was nice to see that I did nail the terrain.  We went from desert bush to a forest within 3 hours.

Then we went on a train ride for 2 and a half hours to arrive at the Grand Canyon.

Beautiful and so surreal.

There's native Juniper bush, Ponderosa Pines, and quaking aspen.  I saw wild agave plants, barrel cactus, pickly pear, mariposa lilies, and yellow desert senna.

One huge oopie moment happened when I left our room and walked up to the main lounge.  There were a number of mule deer out eating vegetation including a couple babies.  Well, I turned around and ran almost into a huge mule deer!  It says that the deer can be aggressive but this one just fanned it's ears, stared at me while continuing to eat.

Photo courtesy of

Also encountered elk which are HUGE!!!  It says in the tour book that they weigh 325-1000 pounds are are 6-8 feet!  One stood by waiting for us as the tour bus went around a corner.  

Photo courtesy of

Son took lots of photos and seemed to enjoy himself:

Me on rail overlooking the Grand Canyon.  Waiting of free bus to take us up the trail.  Did LOTS of walking!

And finally a huge view of the canyon:

**Some reflections on trip:

1. Bring comfortable shoes as you'll do tons of walking/hiking

2. Don't feed the animals!

I had a squirrel try to sneak up on me.  When I pulled away, I swear he gave me the stink eye.  There were posters everywhere talking about how these so-called 'cute' rodents bite and have fleas which carry the plague.

3. They don't sell bottled water.  There are numerous places to refill your bottles around the area.

4. Loved the desert tea samples so much I bought a bag of the stuff!  It has fruit solids (orange, apple, lemon, tangerine,and lime and is herbal.

5. It's worth standing in line at the Grand Canyon lounge food court for the breakfast omelets which are made the way you like them.

6. Make sure to have loose dollar bills to tip for extra services including requesting singer to play a song.


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