We got out of Sun Valley right on time – 6:30 a.m. we were wheels up headed for the Grand Canyon and points north. The day was clear (as usual), and already warm by the time we hit the freeway. First stop was Flagstaff, where we topped off our tanks (and, for some of us, our bellies at a nearby McDonald’s). The scenery was gorgeous on the way to the Grand Canyon, with a constant stiff breeze batting the van around, but also clearing out a lot of the smoke that has been hanging in the air from local fires for the last several days.
We arrived at Desert View at about 10:30 for our first view of the Canyon, and it was great. There was just a hint of haze left in the air giving the farther off cliffs a softness that emphasized the rocks closer to us. We stopped at several viewpoints and took in all that our eyes (and our cameras) could hold. At the Grandview Point we asked one lady to take our group photo. She agreed, but I don’t think that she fully understood that she was going to be asked to take our picture with 7 different cameras! She was gracious, though, and did all that we asked with a big smile. We then returned the favor, and took a picture of her and her husband (with just her one camera, though).
Our longest stop was at Mather Point, near the west entrance to the park. There is a super large area from which to get good pictures so, after a lunch of turkey and ham sandwiches, we all spent quite a bit of time composing our own masterpieces. We tried to get into the area around the lodges for a few more photos, but there were thousands of people in the park, and we couldn’t find a parking spot anywhere close. We finally made a quick stop at the Market Plaza, where we picked up some souvenirs (and some ice cream), and then headed out for Las Vegas.
We got into Vegas at 7:45, right on schedule, and were warmly greeted by pastor Javier and the head of security, John. They showed us around, showed us how to set up the alarm system, and then left us to get ready for the night. David, Sharla and I had a basketball game of PASTOR (like HORSE, but with more letters). I was the first one out, and David & Sharla had to call it a draw due to dinner. Afterwards, we had a short devotional time (led by yours truly), and most everybody headed to bed. (I will too, just as soon as I finish this blog!).
Tomorrow we will hit the freeway at 7:00, and the plan is to stay the night in Sacramento at a Nazarene Church there. (Special thanks to Molly Conant for arranging our accommodations!)