After our rather adventurous day in Arches, we decided to take it easy the next day as we went to Canyonlands. Not that the state of Niels’ knees gave us a lot of choice. No way would we be doing big hikes in the next few days. So we drove through Canyonlands National Park, taking in the amazing views and having a pretty lazy day actually.
After our big hike the day before, we considered going out for a bit of a self-celebratory dinner, but we were too tired. We just fell asleep. So this evening we were going to treat ourselves. We had this gorgeous little campsite, in a canyon, right by the Colorado river, so we didn’t want to spend time anywhere else. So I bought some yummy steaks and lobster tails, and lighted up the campfire. Dinner with a view like that… I don’t think any dinner out in a restaurant would have been as wonderful as this.

The next day we hit the road again, for a very long drive. We head south towards Arizona, via the Navajo Nation, which is huge, more than double the size of Belgium. Originally we had planned to visit Monument Valley, but decided to skip it in favour of a visit to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. So on we drove and drove and drove, reaching Lees Ferry as our stop for the night. Again, quite an amazing location for the campsite. When we woke up the next morning and started driving to the north rim, which was still 100 miles away, we noticed how quiet the roads still were. And then it started to down upon me… we’re in Arizona, they’ve got their own time zone thing going on, which means it’s actually an hour earlier than we thought it was! Well, woohoo, more time.

We reach the north rim and it’s so quiet there, very few visitors and a gloriously sunny day. Niels’ knee is still not in a state to do a big hike and considering we’re at a very high altitude, I realise that it’s also not a good a idea for me. So we just go to a bunch of viewpoints. And at one of the points we saw something that actually makes Niels feel a bit better about the “incident” in Arches. At a small path on the edge of the canyon there’s another couple, and the girl all of the sudden starts sitting down. I immediately recognise what’s going on, it’s the same kind of vertigo that struck Niels. So we help her across, using the conversation distraction technique. She also never had anything like that happen before. Nice to know he’s not alone.
Anyway, the Grand Canyon was pretty nice, but it didn’t amaze us quite as much as some of the other parks we’d been to. For example, we liked the Black Canyon of the Gunnison better. Although smaller, it felt more dramatic. Don’t get me wrong, the Grand Canyon is amazing. Maybe we just were at that point in the trip where we had already seen so many totally awesome sights, that we had become a bit blasé.
What we did really enjoy tremendously was our campsite once again. We were only a few yards from the rim, with a fabulous view. Campfire and outdoor cooking once again, with a stunning sunset behind the canyon. Yes, that was perfect.
We went to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon the next day, and there, we just didn’t get the right vibe. The south rim is a whole lot busier, nearly feels like a theme park. The views are great, but not that different from the north side. We were ready to move on.

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