Posted on Mon, 01-May-2017Tue, 30-May-2017 by pamFlagstaff to Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim Last January we went to Sunset Crater and Wupatki NM and we returned again to enjoy the hikes and views. The Apache Plume was in bloom adding a bit of color to the landscape. It is so neat to see these ruins and imagine the lives that were lived here. In case you don’t look at the link to last’s years, this is another of the ruin on a hillside. This little lizard came out to enjoy the sunshine. Those are the sacred San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff. As always, Exit through the Gift Shop! Good thing we can not store much in the van. Grand Canyon! We dispersed south of Tusayan on FR 302 and took the free NPS shuttle into the park – a 15 minute ride to the new visitor center (at least, we had not seen it before). Some things never seem to change, like the Hopi House – wonderful Parkitecture! We did not remember ever seeing the canyon this green. Looking down into Indian Gardens. And this is the Bright Angle path I did oh so many years ago. WOW! John Wesley Powell and his expedition – a very nice monument to these early explorers. We took a ranger led history tour that showed us this heart placed in the wall by a CCC worker. One of the Harvey Girls he was sweet on looked at this part of the wall from her lodging window. Or maybe it was just for his love of the canyon. Either way, I like that it is in front of the Lookout. Another very cool building. Further on is the Kolb Brothers Studio which has a great little museum about their contribution to tourism. We took the shuttle bus to Yaki Point for sunset – worth the trip! Incredible! We stayed on for a star program at the Visitor Center before catching the 9:00 bus back to Tusayan. Early morning drive to Desert View side of the canyon. Very peaceful morning. Nice displays telling about the history like this one about Thomas Moran. He created his own interpretations to make the most of nature. You can see more of the Colorado River from this eastern end of the south rim. There are some rafters going around the bend. Can you see them now? Desert View Watchtower by Mary Ann Colter is another one of her fabulous parkitecture sites. Just fun to photograph and appreciate. I thought I would give you a sense of the scale of the detail. This is a great viewing deck on the roof of the lower round building. A fellow traveler took our picture. We stayed at the campground two nights in site #42 and were able to walk over for some great sunsets. A few of the cool sunset pictures over the canyon. A storm was moving in so the virga gave an interesting element to the sunset. Nice the sun went behind the cloud so you can see more of the Grand Canyon. The north rim is getting the storm. We did have a snow shower in the afternoon but it did not stick. Looking in the black mirror inside the Desert View Watch Tower for a polarized look of the canyon. This was a technique to sketch the canyon. Another sunset with a spectacular vista. Very interesting light to see the canyon in shades of blue. A perfectly clear quiet morning for our departure and final view of the south rim.