Saturday, January 27, 2018

Desert View - Day 78 - Meredith, day two.....

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5:46 am - Saturday - January 27th - Grand Canyon - 24º F, 40% humidity, wind 4 mph out of the northeast......forecast high for  today is 45º F with sunny skies....we're in a warming trend....by Monday we will have 12 days of temp in the 50's again.

We had originally planned to do some hiking with our daughter Meredith on Friday, but she had arrived at the Grand Canyon congested, so we opted for a more sedate activity on Friday.....ride the Grand Canyon Railway!

We were up by 6 am Friday as we needed to be on the road driving to Williams, AZ where the Grand Canyon Railway originates.  During the winter they run one train which leaves Williams at 9:30 am arriving at the El Tovar Hotel by 11:45 am.  We ended up leaving Tusayan from Meredith's hotel around 7:45 am, and arrived in Williams by 8:35 am.  We quickly found a small cafe where we ordered some coffee and pastry to hold us over until lunch.

From there we drove a short city block over to the train station, parked the car and went into the depot to pick up our tickets.  They have several packages they sell ranging from about $90 person round trip for 'Coach', $170 round trip for 'First Class', and 'Dome Class' for about $200 round per person.....we chose the 'Coach Class'.  Dome class has you riding in one of several observation cars......


 Getting ready to board


.....we had a lovely time talking and enjoying the scenery on the way up to the Grand Canyon.  The train gets up to about 45 mph during the 65 mile trip, but goes much slower in areas where the train is climbing......






.....we actually arrived at the Grand Canyon train depot (located adjacent to the El Tovar Hotel) about 11:35 am, and were in the dinning room of the El Tovar Hotel ordering lunch by 11:50 am......



.....ever since we visited the El Tovar a few weeks ago when we were walking the rim trail I have wanted to go back to have lunch....this was the perfect opportunity.  So while the most of our fellow passengers took tours, we enjoyed the ambiance of the El Tovar dinning room for about 90 minutes.....



.....regrettably the food did not live up to the excellent ambiance and above average service.  It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't that exceptional.......however, the draft beer was excellent!



.....after lunch we basically spent time visiting some of the local attractions.....the Hopi House (designed by Mary Colter), Kolb Studios (built by the famous Kolb brothers who photographed much of the Grand Canyon), Lookout Studios (designed by Mary Colter), and the Verkamp Visitor's Center all the while walking along the Rim Trail......

 Just outside Lookout Studios

 The grand El Tovar Hotel from a distance

 Lookout Studios



.....in all it was another lovely day spent with out daughter.  We arrived back at the train depot about 3 pm to board the train, which was scheduled to depart for the return trip back to Williams at 3:30 pm.....


One of the retired Grand Canyon Railway engines

.....the train left right on time, and within 15 minutes we were in the 'Cafe Car' enjoying a glass of wine, and talking about our day.  The train, again, arrived in Williams a little earlier than the advertised 5:45 pm, and we were in Meredith's car driving back to Tusayan by 6 pm.  

We were all tired after our day of adventure, so when we arrived back at Meredith's hotel about 6:50 pm we quickly bid her adieu, got in our car and were back at Desert View by 7:30 pm.  We will see Meredith again on Saturday afternoon as she makes here way back to Phoenix, AZ for her 9 pm flight back to SoCal.

Well, we've checked off another bucket list item.....ride the Grand Canyon Railway.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and well worth the price of admission.  We would highly recommend it to anyone!

Thanks for stopping by!

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