4/8/17 Flagstaff – Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon


After closing down Black Bart’s Friday night, everyone trickled in to the breakfast room in the 7 o’clock timeframe in ones and twos to fortify themselves for a full day at the Grand Canyon. The original schedule called for leaving the hotel at 8am, arriving in Williams at 9am to get tickets and boarding the train for a 9:30 departure. However, Hans thought it wiser to move things up a little, so we all headed out as we were ready, making sure we gassed up before hitting the road. It turned out to be a good change as Saturday at the train station was very busy and most of us arrived early enough to miss the longest lines to get our seating assignments. About half of us ended up in Coach A and half in Coach C, although not necessarily sitting right together.

 


Before boarding for the 2 1/4 hour trip, we were treated to a western/cowboy/shoot-out show. COTV was mentioned in the show and was given a gift for our attendance. We then walked all the way back along the length of the train to find our seats. Each coach had a PSA (Personal Service Attendant) whose job it was to make sure those who were on bus tours at the Canyon end made their busses and those who were staying overnight knew how to get to their lodging. As explained by the PSA in Coach C, she was there to make our journey fun as well, so Kathy with a K chatted with everyone, helped move along the on-train entertainment (think cowboy singers and train robbing bandits)ansd made sure everything went smoothly.

 


We arrived at the Grand Canyon train depot just before noon and most of us headed up the hill (48 stairs to the El Tovar at a much higher altitude than we are used to made for some gasping COTV-ers!) to use restroom facilities and have an early lunch before the main rush. Again, some ate at the El Tovar dining room and some at Bright Angel. Some, like Curt and Darlena, were eager to get the sightseeing underway and skipped another meal. We all ended up at the viewpoint by El Tovar at about the same time, to find it very windy and pretty darn cold. Bruce had heard that it had snowed in Williams while we were on the train and was moving up the hill; fortunately, the rumor proved untrue, but there were some raindrops falling on some heads. We all did our own thing for the remaining time (Curt and Darlena actually walked part way down into the canyon, although the rest of us were more sedentary!) – looking in the shops and visitors’ centers and taking numerous photos. We are pretty sure that there are Grand Canyon souvenirs in some Corvettes as we speak.

 


The train trip back was still 2 1/4 hours long, but we were lucky enough to see much more in the way of elk and prong-horned antelopes. Kathy with a K in Coach C had a schedule of events lined up which included some of the youngest passengers telling “knock knock” jokes and riddles; number games; silly jokes; as well as train robbers to be prepared for.

 


After we got back to the station, Vickie and Al suggested happy hour at Spenser’s Pub at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and the majority of the group partook of liquid refreshment and a really light dinner of appetizers or shared meals. We then hit the road and got back to the hotel between 7:30 and 8pm, with an unplanned gas stop at the Chevron station by the Webers turning into a group gas stop with the Sommars, Hackworths, and Bronsteins turning up as well.

 


Tomorrow is another long day, but with a later start so a more leisurely morning and breakfast is planned.

 

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Pictures from Vickie & Al

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Pictures from Daryl & Rob

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