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Sunday at the Grand Canyon

Sunday at the Grand Canyon
via Cessna Citation Private Jet
May 2014

Mrs. SFO and I, SFOJr and a good family friend are off today for a day trip to the Grand Canyon.   It's a perfect trip for a private charter, allowing us to fly directly to the rim of the Canyon at Grand Canyon Airport.  No upgrade today but a very comfortable Cessna Citation Bravo.


Welcome to the Grand Canyon!

But first a pit stop at least for Mrs. SFO.

While the guys had a more rustic loo.

For our tour today, I selected All Star Grand Canyon tours, based on their website and favorable TripAdvisor rating.  Turned out to be a great choice and I can't recommend them enough.  Our guide Jason was waiting at the FBO and escorted us out to a waiting Ford Explorer.

Which was stocked with an amazing selection of fruit, snacks and beverages.

Looks like we're not going hungry today!

And we're off for our 6 hours tour of the Grand Canyon. 

Thru the town of Tusayan.

Toward the park entrance.

Our first stop today was Mather Point Lookout.  Awesome!

Back on E. Rim Drive...

... about 10 minutes east is Grandview Point.

OK, this dude is crazy.

Our third and favorite view stop was Lipan Point.

Our next stop was Desert View Watchtower and a gourmet picnic lunch.

And then time to head back to Tusayan.  An unfortunate accident along the way... most likely trying to avoid some wildlife.

More beautiful views from a roadside stop.

Next stop:  Grand Canyon Village for a stop at the El Tovar Hotel, made famous by Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Vacation.

While the gang stopped for a drink at the El Tovar Bar, I headed for the train station to check out The Williams Flyer, a vintage train which travels between Williams, Arizona (about 60 miles away) and the Grand Canyon.

More great views from the Canyon right beside the El Tovar.

And the nearby Hopi House shop.

Next, we headed to the airport and our 4:00PM helicopter tour...

... or so we thought.

Unfortunately, the high winds ground the Papillon fleet, and our 4PM flight was cancelled. The Papillon staff here had apparently been trained in customer service by Air Canada and couldn't have care less about us.  Based on recommendation of our guide, we went next door to Maverick, whose employees actually know customer service.

They booked us on the tentative 4:30P but did caution us that conditions were borderline and that we may not fly.

The boys... passing the time waiting for our helicopter flight.

Unfortunately, the wind shut down all operations and our new 4:30P was canceled.  So I called our crew and told them that we were on the way.  That's one of the benefits of flying private.  We go when we want to go.

With one last stop for Mrs. SFO's favorite activity... shopping.

Ten minutes later we were plane-side and ready to head home.

Grand Canyon GCN to Denver Centennial APA
Cessna Citation Bravo
4:20P-7:00P MDT
May 18, 2014

Pre-departure drinks and snacks.

A last look at the Canyon.

Snack time...

And 75 minutes after take-off, we made our approach to Centennial.

Perfect landing.

And short taxi to the JetLinx facility where our SUV was waiting for us.

What a great day and our first visit to the spectacular Grand Canyon.