After a good nights sleep in our temporary bedroom in Tusayan we were ready for the first day in the Grand Canyon. We started at the National Geographic visitor center – also located in Tusayan – to get some information and an access pass to get into the park with the car. The lady at the counter told us that the Canyon was fogged in at that moment, but would hopefully clear out in the afternoon. She advised us to take a small hike to see the Canyon beneath the fog, and pointed out some hiking trails. Initially we planned to drive to some of the viewing points, but since there wasn’t much to see due to the fog we followed her advice. At the visitor center that is situated in Grand Canyon National Park we took the bus to South Kaibab Trailhead. Ten minutes later we got our first glance at the Canyon, indeed totally fogged in. At that point our excitement only grew stronger, because we were so anxious to see what was underneath it! So we took the plunge and began walking the trail…

There are three stops at this trail, with a difficulty ranging from ‘moderate’ to ‘very difficult’. Being not so well prepared we thought ‘moderate’ was going to be the destination we could handle. (It is kind of tricky, because the way down is easy... But when you return, you need to go all the way up again!) Soon we were walking in the fog, which was - as you can imagine – freezing! But as we were descending we could see more and more of the Canyon… that totally made the cold feel like nothing! After an hour or so we reached the “Ooh Aah Point’, where we – hence the name – should be ooh-ing and aah-ing over the view, but the fog was still a little bit in the way. It was just too tempting being able to see more of the Canyon, so we walked further down the trail, and further… until suddenly – or not so suddenly – we were at the next viewpoint called Cedar Ridge! We totally got rewarded for this, because the fog began to break open and the sun was beginning to make its way through the clouds. We stayed there for almost an hour to witness the fog make place for the most impressive 360 view I have ever experienced, the Grand Canyon! It totally got us energized to make it the way back (1120 feet/620 m up), which we did in only fifty minutes! Back on top of the Canyon we were just on time to see the same view – without the fog – before the sunset (see the picture where I’m reading the paper).

This first day was just such an amazing experience, even more because we had no idea what to expect from it. Back in the hotel we read that the fog in the Canyon is a really rare phenomenon. So special that we could be a part of that! This really was one of those defining moments again…

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