Grand Canyon in December

In December, I had the good fortune of travelling to Phoenix for a work conference. My manager was really excited to tack on a Grand Canyon day trip (on our own dime) to our work weekend in Arizona.

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We started early the morning in Phoenix. A Detours Arizona van picked us up from our hotel. The van could easily have fit 10 passengers, but there was only 6 of us for this private tour.

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Our first stop of the day was the unique red sculpted hills of Sedona. In addition to seeing the impressive hills, we had a little time to explore some of the shops in this famous resort town. I even found myself conversing in French in one store and then Cantonese in the next.

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After our short stop in Sedona, we snaked our way north along the scenic Highway 89A that follows the narrow canyon of Oak Creek. Along the way, we passed by Slide Rock, which is apparently a very popular summer spot for people to slide upon.

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We eventually arrived at the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Even though it was December, there were a fair number of visitors taking in the vistas of the Canyon.23432740953_6c21ffc482_z

We took a seat at the Grand Canyon Amphitheater and had some food and drink. That helped to attract one really curious, and likely hungry, local. This squirrel was really persistent in hanging around us and picking up any crumbs that hit the ground.

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The arid climate of the Grand Canyon also created some interesting looking trees.The plants definitely are unique in and around the Canyon.

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Just like other famous natural wonders that I’ve visited, many unique rock or tree formations have their special names. The Grand Canyon is full of these names such as the Isis and Vishnu Temples. One rock that we ended up visiting was not so majestic in name. It was Duck Rock.

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Yep. It looks like a duck. So it must be a duck. Duck Rock is definitely not as grand as Vishnu Temple in the background.

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After taking some photos of us tip-toe balancing on rocks with the Grand Canyon in the background, we were back on the van and headed east to Cameron, AZ. This is a little trading post at the junction of two highways. It was a souvenir super-pit stop. You could grab all things American Indian and/or Grand Canyon related here.

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For me, the real gem of Cameron, AZ was the old Cameron Suspension Bridge just outside of the trading post. It’s apparently the oldest suspension bridge in the state of Arizona and dates back to 1911. It carries no car, nor even foot, traffic. It simply carries natural gas through a pipeline built along the span of the bridge.

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After Cameron, it was straight back south to Phoenix. After a long day, we were all pretty tired and slept most of the way back to Valley of the Sun.

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