Travel Thoughts By Kim

By Kim Pritt, Contributor Posted 5 March 2023 at 3:00 pm

The Grand Canyon from the southern rim. Photos can’t possibly do justice to this majestic beauty.

Let’s go on an adventure together….to the Grand Canyon!

In the spring of 2013, I spent about a week visiting some friends in Apache Junction, AZ – just outside Phoenix. My friends and I took an overnight side trip to the Grand Canyon. The views at the canyon weren’t very good that day – it was snowing and overcast – but the whole experience was still pretty amazing. 

We got up early Saturday morning to make the three and a half hour drive to Williams, AZ to catch the two-hour train ride to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. About the time we were near Flagstaff, it started to snow and it was pretty messy when we made it to Williams. We had breakfast in Williams and then got on the train, which was a really cool experience. I love taking trains, but theme trains for specific destinations is especially fun. There was incredible scenery all the way, musicians singing for us, and lots of wild life to see – including, herds of mule deer, elk, antelope, coyote, and lots and lots of cattle! And, on the way back, we even got stopped by some train robbers, who boarded the train with scarfs over their faces and guns to rob us – the ladies were screaming and everyone was shaking in our boots! We could see the robbers racing alongside us on horses before they stopped the train and got on. But, luckily, the sheriff showed up and saved us and we resumed our trip home.

One of the train robbers that boarded our train to the Grand Canyon.

Whatever you’ve heard about the beauty of the Grand Canyon, multiply it by 1000……you still won’t come close! I wish the weather was better so we could have spent more time just sitting there staring at it in total awe. It was hazy with fog and snow, so we couldn’t see across the canyon as well as they say you usually can, but what we did see was so awe-inspiring – just breathtaking! Photos can never capture the majesty that we experienced in person. There are some other interesting things to see and do while there – in an attempt to warm up, we toured a Hopi House, had some lunch, and shopped in the gift shop.

I learned something very interesting about the Grand Canyon that day – besides just the obvious cool thing – getting to see the Grand Canyon:  The guides on the train told us to drink lots of water because of the high altitude we were at (over 7000 feet elevation) and the fact that the snow there is a “dry” snow. I snickered when I heard that – you know, they are always saying it doesn’t feel as hot out there because it is a “dry heat”, but if it is 120 degrees, that is still HOT, regardless of whether or not there is humidity factored in. Well, I thought it was odd that they were saying the snow was actually dryer than what we’re used to in the eastern states. So, when I got there, I had to touch the snow to see if it was really dryer. And, I think it actually was! It felt “odd” – it packed really tight, like a good wet snow, but it also felt powdery, like the fluffier kind that doesn’t pack as well and it took quite a bit to make it melt in my hand and when it did, it wasn’t as watery. Really strange feeling snow! HAHA! Also, they sold recyclable water bottles that we filled at stations around the area – super icy cold water that was filtered straight from the mountain springs — the best water I think I’ve ever tasted!

Taking the train out of Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon is a fun and relaxing way to see the beautiful country side.

At the end of the day, we took the train back to where it started (the return trip was when we got robbed). We spent the night at the Grand Canyon Inn that was out in the middle of nowhere about 1/2 way between Williams and the Grand Canyon – really nice place and fantastic food in their restaurant. We got up the next morning and went back to Williams for breakfast at the same place we ate the morning before and to explore a little. After we left Williams, we headed toward Sedona to see the beautiful red rock that the town is famous for. On the way, we drove through Jerome, which is a very small historic town built right on the side of a mountain at over 5000 foot elevation – it literally looks like there is little keeping it from falling off the edge. Located on Cleopatra Hill in the Black Hills, Jerome used to be a booming mining town in its heyday. Now, (at the time we were there) the population is barely over 400 people. When we got back to Apache Junction, we were all so exhausted from our exciting adventure, we all crashed for a nice nap.

For more photos of our Grand Canyon adventure and all of the fun things I did during my time with friends in Arizona, visit my blog.

Happy Adventuring!

The Hopi House was an interesting feature at the Grand Canyon, which was built in the shape and tradition of an authentic Hopi dwelling.