Sadly I have been strongly advised to drive in and out of the Grand Canyon as a severe cold front is coming through Thursday and it is as inevitable as the inauguration of Trump on Saturday that it will snow for about 4 days! I may be trapped and as I have a plane to catch I can’t risk staying.
I have vivid memories of that childhood Looney Tunes story of Sylvester the Cat snow bound in the house with Tweetie Bird whilst the quaint old woman has left to buy provisions and every cupboard in the house is filled with Birdseed! Fearing starvation obviously as there is no cat food, Sylvester spends the next 12 minutes of the cartoon trying to catch and eat Tweetie Pie! Even at age 8 one knows this is inevitably futile but there is a childlike degree of sadistic pleasure in seeing the poor pussy thwarted and frustrated to within a inch of his nine feline life’s.
Anyway I decided to shout myself a helicopter ride – 50 minutes of breathtaking scenery – more than adequate recompense for missing the extra night and day.
When one thinks of Arizona one thinks of cactus, Cowboys and Indians and searingly hot deserts- at least I did. I was totally dumbfounded to see snow in and around the Grand Canyon Park. I was also amazed to learn that we ascended in our tourist van to 7000 feet and then drove for miles across the plateau (“mesa” in Spanish ). The Grand Canyon is thus a gigantic river valley at 7000 feet and the canyon descends for 3000 feet into the Colorado River basin floor. Please excuse the empirical measurements, I am too lazy to convert to metric. Our tour guide was a delightful man called Mac. If he were Australian and happened to be thin – indeed gaunt, then in our laconic and ironic way his nickname would be naturally “Big Mac”. But this is America ! Mac was by no means undernourished and so he indeed was known as Big Mac! He had a charming Garrison Keillor homespun philosophy to his blurbs as he drove along Route 44 in the Dodge Van at a breakneck 75 mph.