We took a long-awaited trip to Northern Arizona and I was able to cross one thing off of my “bucket list”: I saw the Grand Canyon! Here are some pictures, in no particular order. 🙂
THIS IS IT.
The Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River. Also called the “Chocolate Niagara Falls.” It was ridiculously hard to find and in the middle of NOWHERE. Technically, in the middle of the Navajo Nation with no signage.
We entered the park from the East Entrance, so the first viewpoint was the Watchtower. I was very glad happy that I had read some advice to enter from this side as it is MUCH less crowded and more enjoyable. The Watchtower, like Phantom Ranch and many other Grand Canyon National Park buildings was designed in the 1920s by Mary Elizabeth Coulter. She did extensive research of native building styles from the 900-year-old pueblo ruins, and used the same style so that the buildings would look as though they belonged there. Proud moment for women’s history–Coulter’s style of architecture would later be known as “National Park Style.” She is awesome! (See below for pictures of those very pueblos.)
Below is a Lava River Cave, or lava tube. It is formed when running lava cools and hardens on the outside, but the inside of the tube of lava is still hot and runs out of the formation, leaving a hollow space. We decided not to venture any further into this one because Josh (very intelligently) decided it was probably not a good idea. It stays 32 to 45 degrees in the cave all year. Just when we stepped onto these rocks, the temperature dropped 20 degrees. I had bought flashlights just for this cave, and they were awful (apparently cheap flashlights are not good). Also, it was dusk, and no one was around…I think Josh really made the right call. So we didn’t enter the pitch-black freezing cave full of bats. 🙂
These are the 900-year-old pueblos I referred to earlier. Simply amazing and beautiful. They have held up well due to their great design. The local volcanic stone looks so beautiful against the grassy plains of Arizona. Why build on a hill? For defensive purposes? Or simply because it was a beautiful place to live?