Grand Canyon Railroad

It’s a chilly morning out there but the sun is shining so it will probably warm up as the day progresses. We’re on our way up 89 A, through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff and then on to Williams to ride the Grand Canyon Railroad. I guess it gets light earlier in May than it does in October because I seem to remember this drive in October as being dark and cold. This time it’s a bit chilly but the sun is up.

We arrived with time to spare but boy was it windy. By now it had warmed up enough that when the wind didn’t blow it was comfortable with a light jacket but that wind was powerful and cut right through you.

We picked up our tickets and wandered around the gift shop and grounds while we waited for the Wild West Show to start. Eventually we headed over to the Wild West set to try to find seats that might be a little protected from the wind.

One of the cowboys was already on the set with a couple of horses.

 The horses looked like all they wanted to do was take a nap. 🙂

 Can’t say I blame them. Pretty soon more tourists started to arrive and fill up the bleachers. The other “players” came onto the set and the show was underway almost before we knew it.

 It segued from the cowboys chatting with the audience right into the show. People were picked out of the crowd to participate and jokes (really bad jokes) were tossed out right and left.

For example when one of the cowboys asked “Where are you from?” His hapless victim said “Canada”. The cowboy paused for a moment and then asked  “Do you know how Canada got its name? We’ll start with C, eh?” Groaner Ha Ha…and it continued along those lines. One cowboy kept getting shot” and then revived to play a different part.

 I think they did that about 3 times. It was fun and ate up the time we had to wait before the “All Aboard” rang out.

We are traveling in the “Dome” car or Observation car for the ride north to the Canyon.

Our return will be in First Class. A simple buffet of Danish, muffins, coffee and juice and some fruit was put out for the passengers in the dome car and first class.

The Dome class is neat because it has a great view. The windows wrap right over the car so you have a pretty much unobstructed view. It’s quite a long ride so we are entertained along the way. The “PSA” ,basically the attendant assigned to the car, was a fellow named “Bobby”. He was very funny delivering his announcements with stories and jokes. We also had a singing cowboy for the ride north. He was fun too. He had a great voice and also had a good repertoire of jokes. It takes skill to deliver a joke and make it funny. We were lucky that both Bobby and the Cowboy had that skill.

Upon arriving at the Grand Canyon we were directed to the bus for the tour we were taking. Once on the bus we were told that we would have lunch first and then take the rim tour. That’s a switch from my last trip but it works for me. As the bus pulled out of the depot the driver told us to take a look at our first glimpse of the Grand Canyon.

 It is as majestic as I remember but just as before it didn’t seem real. It’s so huge my mind insists it must be a mural! The bus took us to the Maswik Lodge where a hot buffet awaited. There was salad , spaghetti and meatballs, fish, chicken  soup and more. If anyone went away hungry it was their own fault. Lunch finished it was back on the bus for the ride along the south rim of the Canyon.

The stops were different from my last visit but no less interesting. I will say right here and now..the pictures cannot do justice to the canyon and I am not articulate enough to be able to describe it adequately. You just have to see it for yourself. Still if you haven’t been there, I will do my best to give you a glimpse of what it was like.

We made 3 stops in all. The first stop gave us a fairly long loop trail to take us along the canyon rim and then wind back to the parking lot and the bus. The high winds that the area has been experiencing was stirring up sand and dust so that it looked like a “mist” was hanging over the canyon but our guide said it was this dust.

The Canyon is spectacular enough alone but at the 2nd stop there was a biologist with a tracking device. He was tracking condors. Oh how I would have liked to see one of those magnificent birds. The Biologist was very gracious taking time to answer our questions. For example, he told us that all but one of the condors in the canyon are tagged so he could track them and know which bird he was tracking by the signal it was emitting. At that moment he was monitoring a female than was on a nest. The nest was on the cliff face  below where we were standing so we couldn’t see it from this angle. He said the bird usually flys about once per hour. Unfortunately it didn’t fly while we were there. The biologist also said we had missed about 9 condors that had been soaring over the Canyon in the morning. Just our luck!

Moving on to the last stop we found out that one of the other bus passengers had seen a Gila Monster at the previous stop and had the picture to prove it. The bus driver said that was unusual on the rim but that it certainly looked like one. Also at this stop we could see a trail along the canyon floor with hikers like little dots.

 It gives some perspective to the depth of the canyon. Too soon it was time to go back to the train for the return to Williams.

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0 Responses to Grand Canyon Railroad

  1. Amazing. Breathtaking.

  2. Beautiful. I remember making that trip as a family years ago. I don’t think we appreciated it much as preteens, so it would be nice to make the trip that way again. Thank you for sharing!

  3. trialsinfood says:

    i thought the grand canyon was awesome when i went a few years ago. you are lucky to be able to see it more than once!

    • Dusty Roads says:

      I agree. I have been very lucky to have these opportunities. Each trip, even when to the same place, is so different. I hope I can go back again someday although I have to sneak a trip to Yellowstone in there somewhere. 🙂

  4. Beautiful!

    As a West Coast resident all my life, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon.

    So close, and yet so far…

    That will be changing…this year! Thank you for sharing — and inspiring me!.


    • Dusty Roads says:

      I know you will be thrilled by it. I have the West Coast on my bucket list too. I have heard of so many amazing places from Califormia to Washington State, National Parks and eagles. I can’t wait. It makes me wish I had more time to travel. 🙂

  5. Margie says:

    The Grand Canyon is one of my favourite places. The first time we visited it, it was a sunny day and we took some great pictures. Two days later we visited it again and it was snowing. We couldn’t see into the Canyon at all, but took pictures anyway because it was still just such a unique place!

    • Dusty Roads says:

      Sounds alot like this trip. They got snow in the Canyon on Thursday night and they may have gotten snow on Tuesday as well. We were there on Monday and Tuseday during the day so missed any snowfall but it was in the weather forcast. It’s just amazing.

  6. Lovely scenery. The dome car sounds like the way to go.

  7. love your post….thx for sharing.

  8. What a great trip! I lived in Southern California for years and never ventured out to Grand Canyon… I regret it now… the cowboy show sounds like fun!

  9. Visited the Grand Canyon last November, what an awesome site!
    I want to bring my family back the next time, it is a place you will never forget. I remember my first thought as I caught a glimpse from the train…pictures don’t do it justice.
    The train ride was ok, next time will drive up rather than take the train.
    Thanks for posting:)

    • Dusty Roads says:

      How was it in November? Cold I bet. I like to take the train one day and then go back a 2nd day by driving. This year was a little different because we did a 2nd tour instead of me driving up.

  10. Those shots are just wonderful, especially the horses and the canyon. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  11. The Grand Canyon is amazing, I was up in Williams Az, back in 2007 after I returned from the Middle East, my Wife and I took the train, and we loved it… I cant wait to return.. It will be a place I will have to go back to

  12. rizkytriana says:

    beautifull.. reallly nice

  13. Sandra says:

    It was a very nice trip and the canyon is beyond words. It really was very windy at times.

  14. Thank you. I will never see enough pictures of the Grand Canyon or ever visit it too often. Love this! On my list: I want to make it to Zion some day.

    • Dusty Roads says:

      I haven’t got there yet either or Monument Valley or Canyon De Chelley or the “wave” oh so many places and things to see and do! Best wihes on your travels. I hope you will visit me again.:)

  15. tripsfor2 says:

    love your photos! thanks for sharing the warmth of the people and the beauty of the canyon. fun blog!

    • Dusty Roads says:

      Thank you. The folks out there are all nice and helpful. I was told that they don’t blow thier horns at you in traffic either. They told me if I hear a horn that I can be sure it’s a visitor..not a local.

  16. thor27 says:

    Nice little blog !!!

  17. lycon[MANOJ] says:

    I love the way you put things

  18. Emjayandthem says:

    Seeing the Grand Canyon is definitely on my bucket list; thanks for taking me along on your trip and congrats on being Fresh Pressed 🙂

    Cheers! MJ

  19. Grand Canyon sounds wonderful place and land. I have a dream to visit America, expecially the midwest, the landscape of nature. I wish to come to Usa soon. Wonderful photos that describe very well the places

  20. TweeCo says:

    Great post and spectacular scene!
    I miss Grand Canyon, and I havn’t been there for more than 10 years.

    • Dusty Roads says:

      WOW 10 years! I admit it’s a haul to get there from the east coast but so worth it. I expect I will return again in maybe 2-3 years. It’s so magical it’s hard to stay away.

  21. Great post and photos… thanks for taking us along for the ride! I haven’t done the Grand Canyon yet but I live in Southwest Colorado now so I’m closer than I’ve ever been before… one day soon I’ll make it there! It’s kind of a dream of mine to ride my horse on a pack trip through the canyon.

    • Dusty Roads says:

      Wow you are braver than I am. 🙂 We saw the burros they use to take tenderfoots like me down. I don’t think so. Maybe when I was younger LOL But I did get to the bottom of the canyon this trip.

  22. Absolutely incrdible, living in Arizona so close to the canyon is such a treat, we love it!!!

    Your pictures are amazing congrats on being freshly pressed.


    • Dusty Roads says:

      You are so lucky to live in Arizona. It’s an amazing state. Also thank you for the congrats. It’s a thrill to be Freshly Pressed.

  23. Hunter says:

    Wonderful images. This article takes me back about three years to when our family did a Route 66 road trip. We stopped in Williams, AZ and had a great time. Our trip was inspired by my children’s love for the Cars movie.

    • Dusty Roads says:

      Wasn’t that a cute movie! We were all talking about it as we drove along RT 66. Your kids are very lucky to have that experience.

  24. Patti Ross says:

    Thanks for sharing the pictures of the Grand Canyon–brought back many memories of past trips. It is one of my favorite places as well–and, you are right, photos donot do it justice. I just wrote about another of my favorite places–Yosemite. When you get to California, add that destination to your list. Congrats on being FPed!

  25. Julia says:

    The Grand Canyon looks amazing. I’ve never been there but I hope I can visit. The “Dome” looks really cool! Great pictures!

  26. ournote2self says:

    Sounds like a very exciting trip. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Eva McCane says:

    i’ve seen it from a plane but never been! now i’m inspired. a horseback ride in the canyon would rock my world.

  28. It’s the way of the West :))

  29. ticathejoi says:

    Hey, nice post.
    I’ve got new blog, so feel free to check it out. 🙂


  30. Thanks for sharing. I will send this to my parents. They LOVE the railroad rides and nothing beats the National Parks of the US.

  31. paintlater says:

    Dear Dusty, my daughter and I made the trip to USA last year and went to Grand Canyon – we fell in love with the US and the people. I love our desert in Alice Springs but the Grand Canyon is simply amazing-I got chills when I saw Eagle Rock. Cheers Sue

    • Dusty Roads says:

      Alice Springs must mean Austrailia. I would love to go there. Maybe when I retire and have more time for a longer trip. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip here and that my little post could bring back memories

  32. Linda Lewis says:

    The family is leaving Thursday AM for a road trip to the Grand Canyon and other places in the southwest. I am so looking forward to it so it was fun seeing your post and seeing what lies ahead.

    • Dusty Roads says:

      I am sure you’ll have a great time. There is so much to see at the Grand Canyon. Even the surrounding area is facinating. You have the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert to the East and south of Flagstaff is Montezuma’s Castle, amazing ancient clift dwellings. To the North is Monument Valley which I have yet to see . Have a wonderful trip!

  33. Grumpa Joe says:

    Great photos, and an excellent perspective to the Canyon. Your dialogue is poerfect.

  34. I’m loving how dressed up they were. Looks like so much fun. Thanks for sharing this special day from your life. May we all enjoy another “dusty road” with you. 😀

  35. sketchjay says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience and photos – I went to the Grand Canyon when I was 11 and now my daughter’s 19. I want to go back. Thanks for reminding me of this. Nice blog!

  36. bbankcopa says:

    Was just there. Great place.

  37. Wow, your pictures are amazing. I wish to see it with my own eyes one day. Glad you had a good trip!

  38. richannkur says:

    Nice pictures….

  39. ALIVE aLwaYs says:

    Grand Canyon seems a lot scary place now after the release of ‘127 hours’. Nice pics!

  40. Nice review! This is exactly the type of post that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the Google for not positioning this article higher!

  41. Arnold says:

    Thanks for sharing such a nice post, I would like to share it on my blog too, I have been to many blogs on this topic but I havent seen such fine and amazing post on this topic. I would like to appreciate the way you write your views.

  42. Seeing the Grand Canyon is definitely on my bucket list; thanks for taking me along on your trip and congrats on being Fresh Pressed

    • Dusty Roads says:

      Thank you! Being selected for Fresh Pressed is quite the thrill! I understand about the bucket lists. Mine keeps getting longer and longer but the Grand Canyon is worth it.

  43. You did really well with the canyon photos. I haven’t been there yet so I was interested in how it would look. The addition of the hikers really helps. Also, you could have put people in one of the shots from the rim that would help too. The photo just after the lunch restaurant is great. Thanks!

    • Dusty Roads says:

      Thank you! Those are great suggestions for my photos in the future. I appreciate that. I hope you’ll get to visit that canyon for yourself one of these day.

  44. Picturesquely Breathtaking Site! Grand Canyon always amazes me with its naturally carved canyon.

  45. Winee says:

    This place is awesome..! I’ve seen some very nice photos but haven’t been there yet..
    Well I must say you are lucky.. Been dreaming of going there..
    I did a bit of travelling with my family but now am thinking am going round the world by myself.. Travelling is all that matters to me.
    I love Travelling and my Camera!

    • Dusty Roads says:

      Oh I agree..What is traveling if you don’t have your camera with you! I’m lucky that my sister likes to travel with me but I don’t let it stop me if she is not available, I like to travel alone too so i say good for you! Go for it!

  46. Carl says:

    Thsi was a great post 🙂

  47. D.A. says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post. Congrats on being freshly pressed! Looks like you had a blast, and took some great photos in the process! Heading out to the canyon is on my bucket list… 🙂


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  49. Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to everyone who usess it, including myself. Keep up the good work – can’r wait to read more posts.

  50. nature lover says:

    Those pics depict hue this canyon is.The cowboys are cool too!
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    • Dusty Roads says:

      You’re right . The canyon colors are something else although I still don’t think a picture truly captures it. Maybe I just find the Canyon too overwhelming to see it in my pictures. I’m glad you enjoyed them. The cowboys did a good Job.

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