Arizona, The Grand Canyon State, is noted for The Grand Canyon which is 277 miles long, 4 to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep, carved by the Colorado River through rock exposing many layers of geology. It is hard to comprehend its scale when there, photographs fail to capture all but a glimpse of the place. We first saw the canyon from a helicopter which first flies from the Grand Canyon airport at Tusayan, 7 miles south of the South Rim of the canyon. Initially all you see are trees below then all of a sudden the land drops away to reveal the Grand Canyon itself.
You find that words stop and all you can do is look at the canyon in awe. Every sight is a picture, but every picture doesn't capture the sheer scale of the feature. You instantly feel very small and humbled. After our helicopter flight we drove to the South Rim and looked out from Mather Point then drove along to Desert View to see the sun go down, turning the canyon walls opposite a deep, rich red. Driving back in the dark underneath the stars it was hard to take in all that we had seen.
Yet this is just a part of Arizona and although we drove through a large section of the state we barely saw a fraction of it. The final leg of our road trip was from Flagstaff back to Los Angeles, around 465 miles and a full day's drive. To break up this long drive we came off the I40 and detoured along part of the old Route 66 to Oatman, an old mining town in the Black Mountains to the South West of Kingman.
Oatman is now a tourist trap with shops selling Route 66 souvenirs and a mock gunfight in the main street. But it still has a dirt main street, wooden boardwalks and about a dozen wild burros, a type of small donkey. These lovely animals gladly pose for pictures for the price of a handful of burro food sold from many of the tee-shirt shops for $1 a bag. This delightful place made a pleasant lunch break on our long drive back to LA as well as providing some good photo opportunities, including the Route 66 sign painted on the road entering the town.