By the time you read this, you’ll have completed your epic journey down the North Rim, across, and up to the South Rim. I’m absolutely sure that you beat my time of +20 hours to cross. You saw a lot of footprints, people, and mules along the way, but you likely did not see any motorized vehicles on your journey. As you’re riding in the air-conditioned shuttle back to the North Rim or driving home in your own vehicle, you probably can’t imagine a car driving into the Grand Canyon.
But, did you know that in 1914, a car was driven from the South Rim all the way to the banks of the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The trip was concocted as a publicity stunt. L. Wing and A.K. Parker initially travelled from Los Angeles all the way to the South Rim of the Canyon, driving a Metz Roadster. This was all done to promote the Metz Automobile Agency. The car was a 22 -horsepower demon of a vehicle with bucket seats. It looked like a go-kart with bicycle tires.
The Grand Canyon leg of the trip began at Peach Springs on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, west of what is now Grand Canyon National Park. The duo in their Metz Roadster bounced down the gorge over 21 miles and a mile deep, across a boulder-strewn terrain. They drove over and around boulders up to 3 feet high. At the end of day one, they encountered quick sand and boulders larger than the car itself. They piled smaller rocks and brush against these large boulders and actually drove the car over them. On day two, at around 11:00 a.m., they arrived at the Colorado River. This was the first car ever driven into the Grand Canyon and all the way to the river.
Today it is possible to drive a similar route that has been vastly improved. The Hualapai Indian Tribe offers River Rafting, the infamous Sky Bridge, and other amenities in this area now known as Grand Canyon West.Yours truly,
|P.S. Next post will be my last one in 2017.|