No the alarm clock didn’t work, but luckily we were awake bright and early. We made our way to the station hotel where we handed in our bag. The next time we would see it would be in our room at the Maswik Lodge hotel, South Rim Village.
We were due to board the train at 0845, leaving at 0900, but first there was a western act on a set behind the hotel. We don’t usually bother with such touristy things but since I had taken all the photographs and video I needed around the station, and we had time on our hands, we decided to go along and take a look. It was actually very entertaining with lots of interaction with the audience, both children and adults.
For the train ride we were to be pulled by a diesel locomotive as the steam trains only run in the summer due to the high level of maintenance required on them between seasons. On the way we were entertained by a country and western singer passing through the coaches like a wandering minstrel.
On arrival at South Rim railway station we set off for the village. The first view you get of the Grand Canyon at the village is amazing. It really is a magnificent sight. It took Mother Nature two billion years to create this 277-mile long, 17-mile wide, 5,000ft deep chasm, and no photograph or video clip, even in widescreen, can do the immensity and scale of it justice.
We used the free shuttle bus service to take us up to Hopi Point. From there we walked up to Mohave Point and back. The weather was beautiful. We had been expecting very cold winds but what wind there was offered welcomed relief from the sun as we walked along the Rim Trail.
We booked in to the Maswik Lodge Hotel late afternoon and asked where the best location was to view the sunset. We were told Yavapai Observation Station or Mather Point. We duly caught the shuttle bus to Mather Point. The sunset from there was very disappointing – so much for local knowledge. Tourist Leaflets which say there is no such thing as a bad place to watch the sunset and sunrise are very wrong. For sunrise you need to be at Yavapai Observation station, just to the right of the observation post itself, there is a car park close by. For sunsets you need to be on the west side of the village, at Powell Point or Hopi Point.
On our return to the hotel we had a bite to eat - two glorified toasted cheese sandwiches and cups of coffee for about $12.50. We didn’t even enjoy them.
LOCATION TONGHT: Maswik Lodge Hotel, South Rim Village, Grand Canyon.