We got up at the, of course, usual hour of 4:30 AM to get ready to meet the tour bus to make it up to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. A small shuttle arrived to pick up folks from various hotels and take us to the quite nice touring bus in which we made our way, first to the Hoover Dam (for a peek from afar) and then to several stops in the canyon area. The whole thing was absolutely breathtaking. I had never imagined it would be so amazing (it was oddly my first time). The joshua trees, the agave, the rocks, the sky, the river – incredible. Looking over the precipice was quite difficult.
Our first stop was Eagle Point, which was interesting for a short time, but we were left there for two hours. To be clear, the temperature was -5 celcius. To be more clear, the place can be walked around in 20 minutes. To be enlightened, there is a gift shop there manned by pushy sales indians. Yes, this is their only income, but for an expensive tour to dump you off in freezing weather, drive the bus away for some vaguely indeterminate amount of time at a place with nothing much but a gift shop is … worthy of an Illinois governor. The group was supposed to be for all ages and no information was given about nececary preparation. There were some older people there who were dressed for going on a tour (like on a heated bus with some brief hop out and take a picture type things), not a trek through the tundra. Yes, when the bus returned they boarded wearing quite a few oddly new winter clothing items which susupiciously bore the logo of the place. I heard one of wail to her friend “oh thank god, we are saved!”