Didn't happen. Craig woke me up and told me that if I wanted to do that, it was time, but that he didn't want to go. My body was not ready to leave the warm bed either, and so I cuddled up next to him and went back to sleep. We are just not morning people. After the exhausting hike the day before, and the half bottle of celebratory wine, I needed sleep more than I needed to see a sunrise. In fact, for once I lingered in bed long after our usual wakeup time reading blogs and looking thru the pictures we had taken the day before. So nice to be retired!
Although we did not do sunrise, we did follow our plan for the rest of the day, which was to explore some of the east part of the park that is accessible by car. As we drove along Desert View Drive we lost sight of the Canyon. The land is flat and covered with scrubby pine forest. I imagined what it must have been for the explorers who first discovered the canyon, or the early Indians who came upon it without knowledge of its existence. They may have heard stories, but to see the canyon for the first time without pictorial preparation must have been amazing.
Our primary destination was the Watchtower at Desert View. Although it looks old, it was actually built in the 30's for the park service as an observation tower. The stone is all local.
It has four levels, each open at the center.
The walls are decorated with Indian motifs worked so they appear to be ancient and weathered. Fascinating.
There is a large patio observation deck off the second level. As you can tell from the picture we were there before the Saturday crowds started to come.
In the distance to the East we could see the flatlands and Cedar Mesa. It is beyond the park borders; the locals call it "Flat Top."
This part of the canyon is quite different from the areas we viewed over the past few days. The primary cut seems narrower, and the side canyons not as deep.
On the way back to the campground we stopped at all the remaining points and vistas we could find. We were able to see more of the river at this part of the canyon.
We relaxed and rested during our last afternoon at the Grand Canyon. Craig went out to buy the T-shirt he had seen on our second day and I stayed at the Alfa to work on my blog post. However, since he took his phone, I had no hot spot.
One of our small traditons is to enjoy a dinner at the grand lodge of each National Park we visit if possible. I made reservations at the El Tovar Hotel months ago.
It didn't mater, because our whole experience had been marvelous. One thing I enjoy about our special dinners is the sense of history and past luxury. There was a time that only the rich would have been able to eat at these grand hotels.
I am so glad our country has preserved our National Parks, and that now ordinary people can enjoy them.
Our country is rich in so many ways.
We should all remember that, and support public works.