The Catt Box

'The Grand Canyon'


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Finally, the day for us to visit The Grand Canyon was here. We woke up extra early...couldn't sleep....too excited. Les had another surprise in store for me...the night before, when he was purchasing the tickets for the train, he also arranged to have a horse and carriage pick us up right at our camper and take us to the train station.

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Oh, wow....that was great! It was 34 outside and we were freezing, but who cared?...we were going in a horse and carriage! The driver was already intoxicated, or whatever, but at least the horse was the designated 'driver' and would get us safely to our destination. We had great conversation with the guy. But wasn't that sweet of Les to do for us?....a horse and carriage to the train station.

train_station_1.jpg (22557 bytes)train_station_2.jpg (29274 bytes)We arrived at the train station....took some pictures, went to the gift shop to browse and pass the time until it was time to board the train. I was very, very bundled was cold. But, as the day wore on, it warmed up and I was over-dressed with a coat, long sleeve shirt, and big heavy-pocketed vest....which was filled with containers of film. We also toured the Grand Canyon Railway Museum and other odd things. 

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And even boarding the train was a wonderful experience. The 'train dudes' wore white gloves and we walked upon a red carpet...right up into the train. Of course, the only public restroom I used during our entire vacation was aboard this train...and the bathroom was no bigger than the one on our camper. Just couldn't get away from the tiny bathrooms.

We had the best seats in the train car...right in front of the brass and mahogany bar....huge windows and lots of seat and leg room. We had a bartender, Adam, and a few singers / guitar players. They made us sing 'cowboy songs' with them and it was a lot of fun. On the upper right hand side of the right picture, you can see me sitting behind the cash register. 


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On the way to the canyon I had hot chocolate...Les had some sort of almond drink that had milk in it and wanted me to take a drink of it. So I did and he took a picture...had it all over me. 

And every once in a while the steam engine of the train would let off some steam and I was able to get a great picture of it as it cast a rainbow. (as shown above)

grand_tour_bus.jpg (24672 bytes)After a two and a half hour train ride to The Grand Canyon, we were there...we were really there. We were only able to see a glimpse of the canyon from the train window. We boarded the bus for the three hour tour...a three hour tour. This was known as the 'Grand Tour'. Les and I had front seats in the bus and at times that got scary....

Words cannot describe what it was like to actually stand at the canyon and look at it. The pictures will just have to speak for themselves. And for as long as I live I will never, ever forget my first full view of The Grand took my breath away....with each step I took closer to the canyon, it grew bigger and bigger and bigger....

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Before I go on to the next page, I have got to tell you more of what my first view of The Grand Canyon was like. I had ridden with my husband in the van for almost 2,000 miles....went through Arkan-Hell  with him....slept in a camper with him...spent three weeks shopping and planning this vacation with him. Saved change for about three years with him. And we left from the bus together....walked towards the canyon...and with each step we took the canyon grew and grew .....we were astonished. After all of our planning together we were finally standing in front of this huge, beautiful wonderment....and then Les took my hand for about twenty seconds as we stared in awe at this vastness....and then Les took the 'good camera' and abandoned me! That's right....he left me standing there for the rest of our entire 15 minutes at this look-out point. He went off to other areas to shoot some pictures ....and I had to stand there, after all of this....and enjoy the canyon by myself. 

And, I might add....if you are not back on that bus in 15 minutes, they will leave you there....they will. And I watched the bus load up with everyone...and Les was no where to be seen. I started yelling for a panic. The bus driver already explained to all of us that the cab fare back to Williams, Arizona was $137.00....

Finally, at the last possible second...he rounded the corner...running. I don't think I ever exercised that much control in my life, in front of everyone in the bus, as I 'explained' to Les how 'upset' I was at being abandoned. Everyone knew I was upset...but I did not make a scene....and Les never left my side again.


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