June 24: Grand Canyon, adulthood.

We had to get up at seven o'clock. The breakfast was sufficient but we lacked cheese like all Czech people almost everywhere. They had very taste fruit juice though.

I would have appreciated if it had been possible to use the pool in the morning right before breakfast but it was open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and the breakfast was served from 6 to 9. At about 9 we left and since Flagstaff should have been base for all trips around, we thought that the way to Grand Canyon would not take so much time... it took however.

Finally we got there, parked our car at Market Plaza on the South Rim and walked to the edge of Grand Canyon. The first look down the canyon is unrivaled. If you imagine a very big hole in the land..., you are completely wrong. It is really deep but what you can see is just a first level of its actual deepness. It is very indented – you are not sure what is in front and what is deeper. What is the most amazing are the layers of various soils which make stripes on the walls of the canyon. What I was impressed by were the fact, that the walls which I tended to consider hills have the top at the same height. On the way eastward we were able to see the Colorado river but just very small parts of it. In the middle of the track along the canyon to the visitor center, there is Yavapai Point and Observation Station. There is not much to see but if you are a geologist a kind of museum inside could be interesting because you can follow the Earth history step by step how the canyon had been shaped or you can buy souvenirs (like everywhere else).

When we reached the Mather Point and nearby Visitor Center. We were quite exhausted but were ready to ask, whether there were by chance some camping places at the bottom of the canyon free. If you want to sleep in the canyon, you have to book it at least about four months in advance, but there is a possibility that somebody cancels the reservation so you can get place right there.

OK, we were ready to ask for a place but we hoped, that there would not be any. A ranger told us that we had to ask somewhere else so we wanted to ask on the way back. But once we had walked all the way back to the Market Plaza where our car was, just the idea of going down the canyon was absolutely out of question. We had had lunch there and Maggie's question whether there was her birthday party was quite apt.

On the way back to Flagstaff we called at Desert View – the look in the canyon there was also interesting because you can see more of the Colorado. There was The Watchtower built in 1932 according to the prehistoric towers found scattered over the Southwest. There are indian paintings on the walls inside. Then we went longer way around and stopped at Wupatki – the ruins of the dwellings of the Hopi and some other tribes which were living together. They are supposed to have left in 13th century. From the citadel which is not exactly sure what it had been used for. You can see a canyon and San Francisco Peaks from up there. I think it was worth the roundabout. Sunset Crater farther on the road on the contrary is not interesting at all, because you are not allowed to go close and you can hardly see anything.

We were so disappointed that we hiked up the other crater – a Lennox crater – it was not very interesting either but I enjoyed it as a walk.

We got to the hotel at about 8:30 p.m., so we postponed the party to Las Vegas, dived into the pool for fifteen-minute-swimming had a shower and then sort of celebrated... Dad made a “Jamba Juice” – he had by mistake switched the fridge to freezer so our juice was after shaked like a smoothie – and instead of a cake we had a very old and very stale bagel, two Margot sticks and two cookies.

Why were we so tired again?

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