Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Break 2013: Grand Canyon

I know, I've been on pins and needles waiting for the Grand Canyon recap.  Well, it was grand.

And I'm hanging on to a thread here.  First the break-in, problems with one of my teaching courses I'm taking to renew my teaching license (nothing like it getting here late and only having 2 weeks to finish it to get me to do it!), and now my babies are sick.  This weekend we laid low with fevers and bodily fluids exiting places they really shouldn't.  Both kids are home from school today and I think we're on the mend.  They both managed to eat some breakfast.  That's an improvement.  Scooter has been hit harder than Chewy.  He's been sick since Saturday and Chewy only since yesterday.  She did get to enjoy a Daddy/Daughter date on Saturday and was so excited for it.  She dressed up pretty for her Daddy!  It was so cute to see her excitement. 

I quickly put together some collages of our Grand Canyon photos.  Mostly people photos.  There are some landscape photos over at my photography blog.  And I'll hopefully get some more up later. 

Alrighty....we drove to the Grand Canyon in one day.  We had dinner at the Flinestone's place and then headed to our campground just outside of the National Park.  Grand Canyon Camper Village, I think.  It was nice enough.  We mostly chose to stay there because we could plug into the electric and then run our space heater in the trailer.  We stayed cozy and warm when it got below freezing at night.  The dog liked it.  As we were driving into the national park the next day we saw an elk on the side of the road.

Our first day we visited the visitor center and hit the highlights and view points around there.  Then we drove over to near the Bright Angel Trail.  We hiked the rim trail for quite a ways.  We took the dog with us, so we had to walk and avoid the shuttle buses.  The kids mostly liked hopping on the rocks lining the path.  They were pretty good about paying attention and watching out for the edge.  There were fences in the big look-out areas where the buses stop, but along the trail there are quite a few places where you can stand right on the edge (though that isn't recommended).  We were very careful. We also saw a big horn sheep (I didn't put a picture of it in, though I did get a couple) and squirrels that WILL bite.  (We kept joking about the brochure that said squirrels "will" bite, not that they "may" bite.)

After lunch at our car, we left the dog.  It was a cooler, cloudy he was fine for a little bit.  We hiked a little ways down the Bright Angel Trail.  That's the popular one that goes all the way down in. As can take all day to get down to the bottom.  It was covered with snow in some spots and slippery.  Plus it had loads of mule manure from the mule train going down.  Yuck.  It was pretty and we got to walk through a tunnel in the rock.  Biker Boy took one spill on that trail and took Chewy out with him.  They were both fine.  Another time Chewy slipped in the snow and landed in mule manure.  We told her that would make a great story someday...she's still not thrilled about it. Someday it will be funny again!  In total we hiked just over 7 miles the first day.  The kids did just awesome!

We hit up the IMAX theatre across the street from our campground and watched the IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon.  That was the highlight for Chewy.  The kids also enjoyed biking around the campground and the second day we let them bike the greenway trails at the National Park.  We did about 3 miles of that.

Our second day involved driving the Desert View Rd. and stopping at viewpoints until we got to the Watch Tower.  It was a much prettier day.  Sunny with some clouds and I think the views were better.  It's pretty impressive each day as you view the canyon for the first time.  But then after going to more all starts to look the same.  Beautiful, but the same.  I can only imagine what some of the first people trying to cross the country thought when they came upon this....First: "Wow, that is beautiful and impressive!"  Second:  "Oh, S*&%!  How are we going to get across that?"

We saw elk again the second day.  Mostly I was just amazed at the masses of people getting close to the elk to get a photo.  (We only used our zoom).  It's not recommended to get close to the elk.  And the people who put their small child in front of the elk to get a photo with it.....crazy.  As much as I like getting photographs, I didn't do that.  I just placed my children at the edge of the canyon. Much safer, don't you think?  (You're getting the funny stuff here, right?)

And we didn't see any mountain lions.  Thank goodness.  Although, if we did see one from the safety of our vehicle I would have taken its photo.  Oh, Scooter's highlight was the Mexican restaurant we went to after our second day of exploring.  And climbing and jumping on rocks.  The kids did a lot of that.  Overall, it was a lovely trip!

What's lovely for you this week?  I'm hoping for healthy children tomorrow!

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