Our Day on the Grand Canyon Railway
Believe it or not, the road trip to our new home is officially finished. We went from Virginia to Alabama in a day and a half. Then it took us six days to go from Alabama to California. We took turns with the driving, and we kept it fun, even through endless miles of desert.
When we originally planned this trip, Alan asked me what I’d like to see. I only had one request: Grand Canyon. The whole trip was built around this. It was totally worth it.
My dad showed us a newspaper article he’d found about the Grand Canyon Railway. It’s a train that goes from Williams, Arizona, up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We decided to give it a try, and I’m glad we did. This was an awesome way to see the canyon.
Before you board the train, the cowboys put on a comedy show for you. It was cute. My favorite line was actually before the show started. This kid was leaving the area, and a cowboy shouts over to him, “Hey! Where you goin’? The show gets better!” 🙂
There are different levels of seats that you can buy: coach, first class, observation deck, and luxury class. On the way to the canyon, we did the observation deck, as seen in this photo. On the way back, we rode in first class. I know, I know. How obnoxious are we? If you notice, the leg room in the observation car in the photo above, you will understand. Alan is 6 foot 3. We had crazy amounts of leg room on the way back.
All of the cowboys were pretty funny. This guitar-playing one was amusing and also talented. He did a really funny Willie Nelson impersonation.
view from the train leaving Williams to begin our journey
You have to drink a lot of water to help with the altitude sickness and dehydration. We managed to stay well hydrated, but I definitely got an altitude headache.
They have this set up beside the tracks, and they use it for Christmas time, when they run a Polar Express version of the Grand Canyon tour.
They gave us this paper and a brochure all about the railway history and the canyon. They kept telling us about all the stuff to see at the “village” at the Rim.
Alan turned to me and asked, “So what do you want to do when we get there?”
My answer was pretty obvious, “I just want to see the Canyon.”
“Good. Me too.” I love it when we are on the same page.
The Grand Canyon is so vast. It is the most incredible sight. You can’t really see to the other side in any direction. I can’t wait to visit again some day on the other rims! There is even an area now that has a glass pier you can walk on and see down into the canyon. That was about 180 miles away from us. Yes, the canyon is that big. Go back and look at the map that I posted at the top of this page.
I just loved this. I was also thankful we did not have Daniel with us. A three-year old on the loose would have made for a very different day at the Grand Canyon!
Alan zoomed in on what looked like little rectangles from the top. We wondered if they were cabins.
Sure enough. Cabins. People have been hiking to the bottom for as long as people have found the Grand Canyon. I have no idea how they get down there, though. It was definitely not from any points that we were at.
We spotted this bird inside the canyon, and zoomed in on it. It was pretty large, but just please don’t tell me it’s just a crow. I know it could be, but that would be so disappointing….
me and my bag….A good tote bag is essential to hiking at the Canyon. We got this one for $3 at the Railway gift shop.
First, let me say that no, I did not climb a tree in a skirt. That is not actually a skirt. It’s a skort–shorts that look like a skirt but have shorts inside of them. I love skorts. You know how I like to climb stuff. 😉
At the last minute, Alan said, “Are you wearing flip-flops? Oh no, we are going back to the van and getting you some tennis shoes.”
“That’ll look weird with my outfit.”
“April! We are hiking the Grand Canyon. You don’t wear sandals to hike the Grand Canyon.”
Another reason I married Alan. 🙂 I was very happy in my tennis shoes.
We thought we were clever, taking our pictures in this tree. As we were walking back, 30 minutes later, we noticed lots of people were doing the same thing. I guess the tree beckons everyone to climb it.
You see this picture. This is why bringing four children would make me insanely nervous. Did you know hundreds of people die every year, by falling off the rim?
On the way back to Williams, this marshal appeared. He said, “At 5:00 we are going to have a little surprise for ya’ll, so be sure to look out the A & B seat windows at 5:00. We like to schedule our surprises.”
5:00 Train robbers.
You can tip the train robbers….letting them feel like they are robbing you. It was all completely non-scary and comical.
We took this map photo the next day, at the Hoover Dam. It’s the best map I have found to show exactly how humongous the Grand Canyon really is.
You really should go see it!
And no, I was not paid to write all of this propaganda. Ha! I so need to find a job like that….