I parked at the first stop I could see and then saw two people ahead of me. I asked them about what is the best places to see the sunrise and fortunately they are seeing the sunrise as well so I tell them I am just going to follow them.
The bus comes by and we get on.
It is quite dark. I had to use my flash for this one.
When the bus stops, at Yaki Point the lights switch on.
And we all get out and I look at the skyline and it is remarkable. I walk away from everyone as far as I can to be alone in solitude.
It is slowly starting to change.
Finally, I can see my self in a selfie.
Gradually the sun rises
This is my favorite moment. The sun is almost out.
There she is.
I can see now.
It is breathtaking to see.
The view from where I walked to.
I meet a photographer who takes a picture of me with my camera.
I head back to the bus stop at Yaki Point and wait with everyone else.
On the bus I reunite with the two people who led me to the right place to watch sunrise: Bruce and Cheryl from Austin, Texas and we talk for a bit on the ride back to the Visitors Center.
Back at the Visitors Center.
I go to the Bright Angel Cafe to get some coffee and a snack to eat. Apparently they give discounts to people who have an National Park Annual Pass so I run back and get my pass and get my discount and coffee and sandwich.
I walk around looking at the trails I can possibly walk that lead down into the Canyon and to the Colorado river.
And then get an idea of what there is to see around the South Rim area.
I enter the Visitors Center
I talk to the Park Rangers to get some information on trail walking for tomorrow and what I can and should do today plus where to see the sunset.
I decide to head out westward to the Hermits Rest stop first and take pictures of the Canyon along the way. But I have to take the bus to get there since it is restricted to private vehicles.
You can see the the trails that lead down to the Colorado River.
Continue on the bus and go visit the other locations towards the Hermits Rest
The views look similar but you always view it from different perspectives and those perspectives change as the sun moves across the Canyon.
Finally get to Hermits rest.
And walk around past the rest point and walk down some rocks to get some pictures.
I head back to the Visitor's Center and watch the Grand Canyon video.
And then I continue on eastward on the Desert View route towards to the Desert View Visitors Center. Along the way I stop at a few points and take some pictures.
I get to the Desert View Visitor Center, park and walk about.
Walk towards the Desert View Watchtower
The views outside at the view point.
Walk into the Watchtower and walk up the first flight of stairs.
To a terrace.
And then another set of stairs to get a higher view.
Walk back down the Watchtower
Get back in the car and drive to the Tusayan Museum for views of a village of people who lived here in the 1100s.
I leave the Tusayan Museum and continue to drive towards the other view points.
After viewing all the various points on the Desert View Drive and appreciating the views, I decide to drive back to Lipan Point where I think it will make the best sunset.
Appreciating the shadows on the canyon caused by the sun.
I see a trail to get closer into the canyon with more seclusion and follow it.
The canyon and various shades
Should get a picture before it gets dark.
There was only one person who dared to walk around where I was watching the sunset so I asked him to take a picture of me.
Time to head out.
I drive back to the small town of Williams and decide to dine at the restaurant Red Raven - the restaurant I missed the night before.
French Onion soup.
Red Raven Pasta to fill my belly with carbs for tomorrows walk.
Watching the sunrise from pitch blackness and not being able to see the canyon to seeing it appear gradually was epic. One of the best things I've done on my travels. I am grateful for my 'foster parents' Mike and Sharyn advising me to do so. Meeting Bruce and Cheryl who guided me to the right place to watch the sunrise was just a perfect co-incidence. They are such great people.
Driving around whether by myself or using the bus and visiting all the view points was tedious but seeing the variety of the canyon, the trail lines from up top, noticing the people walking it, and the structures of the canyon was well worth it.
The sunset was also good. Not as good as the sunrise but definitely worth the watch. Seeing the shadows and the colors and shades on the rock change was great.
Tomorrow I get up ... not as early and walk down the canyon on one of those trails.