Grand Canyon is an incredible sight from every viewing site. There are NO words to describe it. We traveled to several viewing points, my favorite, Hermits Point. There is a little lodge designed by Mary Coulter( fact check me on this). The view is terrific but the structure has a beautiful stone fireplace built with local stones. Teddy Roosevelt, made the canyon a national park, used to come and sit by this fireplace.
Interesting facts- only 10 visitors a day are allowed to ride the mules down into the canyons, the average visitor looks at the canyon for 15 minutes and then spends 40 minutes in the gift shops.
After a tour, considerable free time and lunch in one of the historic lodges we hit the road for Sedona.
We drove through Oak Creek Canyon which was an entirely different experience than the previous canyons. This canyon was filled with trees, running creeks, swimming holes, fisherman, swimmers and cottages.
Sedona, while beautiful was the low point the trip. Apparently we stayed here two nights so the tour company could host a dinner for the participants, each bus was on a separate night. Our dinner was Saturday night and was excellent.
Sunday morning we went to Sedona for a trolley trip up to the lovely Chapel of the Holy Cross. The architect built it to honor her mothers memory. It was intended for a site in Europe but WWII changed that. When a site was selected in Arizona it was on
government land. Intervention by Barry Goldwater ( a great GOP member who defined conservative before the tea party was born)< moved the project along. The chapel is fantastic with a remarkable view. It was worth the stop.
The downer was the four hour stop at Tlaquepague Gallery Mall. The travel company obviously did not know it's audience. Base price at most shops was $250. After this stop we returned to the hotel for??????. At 530 the buses loaded again for more shopping and dinner. Gayle and I opted off the bus and went to a restaurant that had an intriguing logo and name, THE BARKING FROG. Murphy, you can judge a resturant by it's cover. What an adventure in southwestern dining.
In my opinion we could have seen the chapel and moved on to Scottsdale and another national park.