Our last morning at Grand Canyon started early. We rolled out of bed at 6:30, hopped into our clothes, took the dogs out for a quick pee, grabbed our go-cups of coffee/tea, and headed for the rim, where we were met by a family of Desert Mountain Big Horn Sheep. We'd seen them far below the rim, dancing on the rocks like it was their living room floor. This was pretty great, to see them so close. I was glad we'd left the dogs "at home".
We searched all the usual places for the young condor we'd seen the night before, but he seemed to have left the area. We were so happy to spot him, but were concerned that he was all alone, and didn't seem to know how to behave like a condor. He landed on a rock that was way to close to people. If a ranger had been around, they would have climbed out on the rocks and scared him off. They don't want them to get comfortable around humans, don't want them to trust us. We're not all trustworthy. Fortunately, everyone who was there that night was respectful and grateful to have the up-close look at the beautiful bird.
On our way out of the park, we stopped for one last look. We could see the Colorado River far below, and it was much greener than a few days ago, when it was brown as a cup of hot chocolate.
Blowing kisses to our beloved Canyon, we set out for what we thought would be about a three hour drive to Zion. I think Rick told me that just so I wouldn't start off the day whining about too much drive time... Wanting to stay clear of the narrowest, windiest roads, we followed a route that took us in a big loop, going from Arizona to Utah, to Arizona again, and back into Utah. It was a long, hot drive, even with AC. But I do recommend this part of the country as well worth a visit. Here are a few pictures for you, and there are more on Facebook.
The underside of these clouds was a lovely pink, reflected off the red rocks below. I always appreciate a soft pink bottom...
Those are the Vermillion Cliffs in the distance, where the captive-bred condors are released into the wild. Yeah, I'm still talkin' about condors...
The drive over Antelope Pass was dramatic, and only a little bit scary.
We passed Lake Powell, but it was too hot to do anything but stop for Cheetos and Diet Cokes... we have to stop eating this crappy road food, but we needed something to encourage us. OK - I needed something.
Finally, late in the afternoon, and well into happy hour, we wound our way into Springdale, Utah, and landed safely at the Quality Inn Campground, just minutes from the entrance to Zion. We didn't explore beyond our campsite last night, but even the view from here is inspiring. Just step out the door and look up. Tired as we were, we could manage that, and balance a margarita too.
More photos on Facebook:
Last Day At Grand Canyon
The Road To Zion