Once we reached Flagstaff around 4pm, we started our detour to the Grand Canyon. We took 89 North to 64 North, and reached the entrance a little after 6pm. It was a $10 entrance fee per car for a 7-day pass and we asked the Grand Canyon Ranger where he recommended that we’d view the sunset. Although I had been to the Grand Canyon once before, I took the bus from Las Vegas with the kids and came to the main gate on the other side of the South Rim. I had never been to this part before, but we followed the ranger’s recommendation and parked at the big tower. Sunset was to take place at 7:07pm and we had time to experiment with our cameras from the Tower View. It was very hazy and far from a blue sky, but we could still see the sun as it dipped behind the canyon. Although we had seen part of the canyon, it was certainly not the same as the impression I had from the main entrance (the most touristy area) and I couldn’t wait to see Tone & Kristin’s reaction the next morning when we were coming back.
We drove the ~25 miles along the South Rim to the main gate and then headed towards the Grand Hotel Grand Canyon approximately one mile outside the park. I had booked our room when we began planning the trip in January because I didn’t know how crowded it would get during this season. The last thing we wanted to do was to stay in Flagstaff and to drive back the next morning. The prices were steep up here, both food and lodging, but I guess that’s to be expected. We were too tired to consider another restaurant in the area and ended up with dinner at the hotel. It was expensive and service was poor (very, very slow), but the food was pretty good. I had a pasta dish with chicken, shrimp and chili; tasty. However, I could’ve skipped the “imitation” cheesecake for dessert. Then again, I’m used to New York cheesecake.