Oct 4, 2011

United States of America - Grand Canyon

We took three different buses to get from San Francisco to Flagstaff, a twenty-two hours trip (!) that was interrupted in Blythe, at the boundary between California and Arizona, by three border patrolers with German shepherds. They examined our passeports very carefully and asked us why we did not have an american visa with a photo ID. Well it is not necessary for european citizens but they had no idea. Checking our registration numbers and asking a lot of questions about the purpose of our trip and our backgrounds took ages. Fortunately the bus waited for us and we were not illegals after all!


We stayed in Flagstaff to visit the nearby Grand Canyon. Impossible to find an accomodation in Grand Canyon Village, everything was booked more than six months in advance! And in fact the Grand Canyon is a very popular destination. Tourists from all over the world.

It appeared to us that there are two ways of visiting the Grand Canyon: admiring the vistas from the north or the south rim following the map of view points OR hiking in the canyon to see the landscapes from different angles. We were not brave enough to opt for the second way (the main trail, Bright Angel Trail, is 12 kilometres long and 1332 metres of difference in altitude to reach the Colorado River) but, thinking back, we should have...

The option for lazy people to touch the Colorado River: driving to the north of the canyon where the difference in altitude is less important. Just after crossing the Navajo Bridge, the Colorado River is reachable by car at Lees Ferry which is the starting point for all cruises on the river. We felt the excitement of people preparing their equipment before starting the journey. Lucky them!

Navajo Bridge

Happy time at Lees Ferry!!

No matter how, from where or even when, the Grand Canyon is amazing: contrats of color and shape, visible sedimentary layers. An almost mystic place like no other in the world. Basically the Grand Canyon is a big groove in the Colorado plateau, carved by natural elements. Five million years ago, the Colorado River began the erosion process to create the difference in altitude we have now.

A place to meditate! ;)

And you never know when wild animals can cross your road:

No time to centre the picture! :/

In this area are open to visit some archeological sites called Pueblos. They are the early dwellings of indigenous farming groups who lived there hundreds of years ago. For example, in Wukoki lived two or three families, relying on natural ressources and their knowledge of the natural environment to survive.

In Arizona we saw some of the most characteristic stereotype of the US: bikers, shining trucks, funny licence plates, etc. Also it is clearly indicated in Wutpaki National Monument park that guns should be left outside the doors of the information centre! A whole new world! ;)

German bikers living the dream


  1. Et ben voilà, tu vas pouvoir remplacer la photo de fond de blog par une vraie photo à vous! Ca a l'air génial, c'est magique et grandiose comme endroit le Grand Canyon. Quand je serai grande j'irai :) Moi de retour de Corse, aussi sauvage mais plus proche de nous ;) GROS BISOUS! Claire-E.

  2. Hey! Je ne savais pas que tu allais en Corse, super! Bon retour à Paris. Gros bisousss