October 19, 2012 – Train Trip to the Grand Canyon – Williams at Night

Today we took the 65 mile train from Williams to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Prior to its departure, there was a short western town skit and shoot-out which might have been corny

… but actually turned out to be quite funny.

At 9:15 the boarding started

And fifteen minutes later the train pulled out precisely on schedule.

The trip was very enjoyable, with a buffet of juice, coffee, Danish, muffins and fresh fruit available.  After leaving Williams, the landscape over the first half of the trip is generally flat rangeland dotted with a few, isolated homes.

Thereafter, it passed through the world’s largest stand of Ponderosa pines.

With 3½ hours of free time after arriving at the Grand Canyon, we grabbed a west bound shuttle bus to Hopi Point in order to be able to walk back to Grand Canyon Village along the rim.

Unless you’ve been there, which we had in 1994, there is no way to appreciate the grandeur of this natural wonder nor truly appreciate the brilliant palette of grays, browns, greens, ochres, deep reds, oranges, and golds of its strata … some dating back to more than 2 billion years ago.  Located along the Colorado River, it was carved out over a 5.4 million year period and presently is some 277 miles in length, up to 18 miles wide and plunges to more than 5,700’ at its deepest point.

And there are places along the rim where glimpses of the Colorado River can be see a mile below.

During the return trip to Williams we spotted several antelope (but no deer for them to play with),

A dust storm to the East, the pinkish cloud looking eerily like one which prevented us from getting to Meteor Crater 2½ years ago,

were held up by train robbers … two who looked vaguely familiar to the characters in the morning’s skit; one of whom had been an LA cop for more than 20 years,

And, both traveling to and back form the Grand Canyon, we were periodically serenaded by cowboy singers.

We had a great dinner at the Winchester Ranch Steakhouse, located in a former dairy barn, it has a distinctly western motif

with the tables and other features are finely sanded and highly polished natural wood

And a replica of an old western town along both sides of the second floor dining area.

After dinner, we took a drive through Williams at night before returning to our motor home.

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