We left Mesa, AZ around 10:54 hrs in the morning of 12 May, 2011, arriving at the Canyon Gateway RV Park around 14:00 hrs, a 188 mile trip.

The Canyon Gateway RV Park utilizes a coarse, red "lava" type rock ranging from pea to fist sized rocks at their campsites. The weather was cold...around 66 degrees...and windy.

The 13th of May found us purchasing tickets for the train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway to Grand Canyon Village, a little more than 60 miles from Williams, AZ. We rode 1st class to the canyon, and via Vistadome on the return trip.

That morning around 9:00 hrs a "free" wild-west show was performed near the depot that involved audience participation. Was entertaining...if not drawn out a bit.

The train travels slowly, around 30mph or so, which makes for a two-hour ride to the canyon...and back.

Onboard entertainment was provided in both directions consisting of a guitar playing singer who looked a bit like Buffalo Bill on the way out, and an accordian/harmonica player on the way back. Champaigne and Cheese was served in the Vistadome on the way back. The 1st class ride on the way out provided seats with more than ample leg room...one could stretch out if one were so inclined between the seats...and the seats were very comfortable. The more expensive Vistadome ride's seats were not as comfortable, and provided minimal leg room. Nevertheless, each ride was fine and enjoyable.

When we arrived at the Grand Canyon Village at the end of the Grand Canyon Railway ride, a short hike to the other side of the village brought us right away to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. First looks were shock and awe to the visual system! It surely was a grand canyon! The Colorado River flows through the canyon, and along with the wind provided much of the sculpture work for mother nature.

The "village" consists of several gift shops, native stores, native dancers, and places to sit and eat. Tourists from all over the world were to be found here.

The ride back to Williams, AZ via the Vistadome was slow and uneventful...save for the mock robbery of the train...strangely by the same fellows who had earlier in the day acted in the early morning wild west show!

I had lost a pair of sunglasses while riding the Vistadome unbeknownst to me. The next day I visited the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel where they maintain a lost and found. My glasses had been found and turned in, but they couldn't find them. I was offered the opportunity to rumage through a box of a hundred or so pairs of sunglasses, mine were not amongst them. It was the next day before I received a call from the Hotel letting me know they found them, when I rushed down to pick them up!

We visited Williams, AZ the next day, taking in a few stores and a few sights. We visited their Safeway store and restocked our food supplies, and called it a day.

On the morning of the 16th of May we were on our way to Bryce Canyon National Park.