Monday, June 27, 2005

The Grand Canyon – Trip Day: 3

The Grand Canyon
Originally uploaded by billread.
It is not possible to depict in words or pictures the scale of the Grand Canyon. In fact, it is impossible to take it all in even when standing on its edge. At 18 miles across and a mile deep, distance becomes irrelevant as one gazes across and notices the curvature of the earth on the opposite side.

We took the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, AZ. Even though we didn't get to ride on the train with the steam locomotive, I got a great video of it pulling away from the station. The trip was fun, but a bit too long to keep the kids entertained the whole time. We met a cowboy sheriff, and got sung to by another cowboy. After two hours, we arrived at South Rim Village, where we had about 3 hours to look around.

Staying near the main area of the village, we wandered along the rim, taking it all in. Nanny and Pop-Pop took the boys over to watch an Indian dance nearby. We snapped a family picture at the rim, then grabbed lunch in one of the restaurants— which proved to be more upscale than I expected at a national monument. After lunch we strolled along the rim some more. Virginia busied herself watching several lady-bugs which she found along the wall.

The ride home was punctuated by a train robbery, complete with riders on horseback shooting (blanks) at (near) the train. We stopped to let them on. The robbers worked their way through the cars, looking for tips and talking trash to the kids. The sheriff came through a little while later, giving them plenty of time to make their way to the end of the train. He gave a show for the camcorder, twirling his gun and ending with "Welcome to the Wild West." I used that as the beginning of a DVD of our trip.

Back in Wilson we went to a restaurant boasting the largest selection of pies in the state. While we waited for our food, a street show began outside. It was a skit based on a local legend. They told it two ways: the legend, and the real story. The legend went along the lines of a beau saving a lady from two drunk, bad, cowhands. The real story involved a local hussy whose boyfriend ended up deciding that she was too much trouble, but the cowboys didn't want to take her either.

The food was OK, being mostly what you'd expect from a small town restaurant. But the pies were worth the wait. The compulsive plate cleaner that I am, I left stuffed, worried about staying awake on the night drive home.


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