While my trip to the Grand Canyon allowed plenty of time to roam on my own, we did get a tour from one of the locals. And who knows better than the locals?
After our delightful 2 hour train ride to the Grand Canyon, we disembarked and once again we divided up into 2 groups and loaded up on a bus with our tour guide, the wonderful Tony. Now after spending several hours on a motor coach with our tour guide, Salty Dog, it was a relief to have someone who knew what they were talking about and was able to bring the history of this place to life through knowledge instead of reading something out of a book an boring us to death. Like many in this area, Tony is a native and his family has lived here for many generations. And just like my husband he is of course part Native American from the Yavapai tribe.
As we head out Tony gives us the history of this amazing place. As we round the corner, all of a sudden, there it was. What we were here for…the Grand Canyon. You hear one huge "gasp" followed by "OMG", followed by sounds of cameras clicking picture after picture. For many, like myself, this was our first trip to this wonder. So to hear all of these agents discovering the beauty of this place at one time was just something special. In fact one agent who has been with the company for many years has taken this trip several times and commented that no many how many times she took this trip, it always brought tears to her eyes at the first discovery.
There are a total of 19 overlooks at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Of course we didn’t hit them all. We traveled along West Rim Drive and Hermit’s Rest Rd. We stopped in at Hermits Rest as well as Pima, Mohave, and Hopi Points. The views here are heart stopping. You can choose to keep safely behind a barrier with eye popping views or go out a bit to the rim barrier free and get even more amazing views. These views certainly are not for those who are afraid of heights and you should use extreme cautions when going out to the edge.
At each stop we parked the bus and we had plenty of time to ogle and photograph this natural wonder. Before each overlook we were given a history of where we were going and answered the many questions we had once we were there and pointed out things to be on the lookout for. At each overlook agents gathered around to admire this beauty and to take pictures to prove they were here and to post on Facebook. At Hermits Rest there are rest rooms as well as a gift shop and a place to pick up a bite to eat. I decided to walk the road that went past the bathrooms. It took me to an area without barriers and offering up some mind boggling views which left me speechless.
Having a guided tour was truly a wonderful experience and I was very grateful to have that tour with a knowledgeable guide such as Tony. And discovering this amazing place with my fellow agents was just indescribable.