With dark clouds looming ominously on the horizon and forecast for the upcoming storm, the next morning in Grand canyon village was a bit let down as the day started. Sun was still on its ascent to promise beautiful day but we had inclination that today was the day when we had to chase down sunlight to get the sun-bathed vistas of Grand canyon. By the time we got ourselves refreshed with early-morning coffee and nourishments, drizzle started to threaten our prospects with high wind. Chase was on.
We went to Grand canyon visitor center, at last. Partly to get more info on desert view scenic drive and partly to get more informed maps and brochures. The wind had picked up, the temperature dropped a few more degrees and the rain was about to arrive unexpectedly, we headed towards the Desert view scenic route to get the final fill of the Grand Canyon before bidding goodbye. Desert view drive was same as Hermit scenic road as of previous day but with more diverse scenic points from different side of Grand canyon.
Desert view drive hosts six canyon view points, four picnic areas, some unmarked pullouts and ruin and museum along the way. As soon as we started, it was evident that we were in race with escaping sunlight and approaching dark clouds as if we were running away from dark evil spirit that was hell-bent on devouring our traveling spirit and fun. A very high wind crashing to rock face and lifting upward surging in torrents of cold waves had also started to make everyone shy away from cliffs and edges. At least, it was good move by nature to keep over-enthusiastic selfie lovers out of the harm’s way. It was alluring mixture of faraway sunlight illuminating part of canyon with shimmering colors while part of it, doused in dark grey shadows. Nature’s colorful yin-yang.
One after the other, we stopped at most of all vista points on the way, getting the feel of the canyon and evading the fast approaching black clouds, towards desert view watchtower. Rustic looking stone-built watchtower was more akin to lone ancient guardian to backdrop of gorgeous spread of canyon. Gleaming white stone of the watchtower was acting as beacon to attract as much spectators as it could in sunlight that was fast receding with aggressive approach of the rainy clouds. Rain was not far away and threatening to chase away whatever sunlight left with slight drizzle, when sun grew some spine and fought back. While two nature’s finest fought hard, outcome of the fight had presented dream like spectacle for all present to witness; spectacular rainbow spanning over two distant edges of canyon in its seven color glory. Eye-catching. Fantabulous. Out of this word and marvelous. Words are short for such spectacle on display. The day that was made memorable by dark, light and water droplets in the air.
Travelling mind suggests: Get up-to-date details on Desert view drive at below
As if the last grand trick was performed and show was over, once rainbow faded into thin cold air, everyone prepared to leave for good lunch options. We drove back towards Yavapai Lodge for fulfilling burger and tacos. We didn’t plan anything for the day except travelling to Page, AZ. By the time we finished our hearty meal, rain has arrived as if to signal to hit the road. Drive to page was 2 hour and 30 minutes from Grand Canyon village. If I would have to pick color for Arizona, then it would be golden muddied with hues of yellow, brown and saffron. Long black stretch of road was like a cut sliced through otherwise broad expanse of sand and stone, occasionally marred by trailer wagons or scattered small stubby houses. It seems that phrase “Driving into Sunset” was coined somewhere during drive in AZ.
Travelling mind suggests: There will be few scattered vista points of the valley and chasm in between the drive from Grand canyon to Page, AZ. Most of this points are accompanied by stores selling native crafts and knickknacks. Some of them are expensive but good way to support them by buying directly from them rather then high-end store.
Page is small quaint town that is dotted with many economical options to stay due to its closeness to famous antelope canyons and guiding tours. We had already booked well in advance the early morning tour to lower antelope canyon. There was not much to do other then settle down in the hotel and get ready for next day’s mindboggling nature sculpting.
Date of visit: 23-Dec-2021