Friday, July 12, 2013


Day 5: Ain't it GRAND?

Flagstaff is an adorable town filled with cute restaurants and shops, crisp, chilly air, and "christmas trees every where Mom!" We were in love with our precious cabin at Ski Lift Lodge at Arizona Snowbowl, just north of Flagstaff.  It was the perfect setting to start our Grand adventure from.

To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the Grand Canyon.  There just seemed to be SO much to do and the options were overwhelming to me.  But as we got closer to the park (our cabin was an hour south), we became excited just to see it - to share this experience with my children.

 We headed straight to the Visitors Center and spoke with a Park Ranger.  Based on the ages of the kids and the limited time we had at the park (one day), he provided us with a full days worth of activities to get the most out of our stay.  I think in another life, I want to be a Park Ranger - so full of knowledge, incredibly helpful, and they get to work in the coolest settings.

We set out for the closest point to see the canyon by foot - I wanted to see my kids' reaction to the sheer enormity of the canyon.  WOW - they were amazed.  And WOW we were there with what felt like the rest of the world.

Best advice I can give you - if you go to Mather's Point - so will everyone else.  Don't even try to take a picture there - walk on down the trail toward Yavapai Point, and you will have tons of opportunities to take pictures with no one jostling around you.
All I wanted to do was stare - the beauty is breathtaking.  Even in the picture above, it looks unreal, right?
 My son was amazed - he wanted to see it all - like me, taking hundreds of pictures of the same thing - trying to capture it.  But he and I both agreed - you can't capture the beauty in a picture.  You have to see it yourself.
 Everything is so very organized at the Grand Canyon, so I don't know why I felt intimidated.  They have free buses that will take you to all the points, so you don't have to hike along the rim to see it all.  We felt very relaxed to take our time with the buses.  We walked between many of the points - it was such a gorgeous day, only in the 70s.
Now I feel the need to explain this picture.  Many people were going out to this rock with their children.  And as they were coming back, I asked how comfortable they felt out there - "No problem!!" said one dad.  So we attempted it.  My son bounded out there while I slipped down the first little hill and watched my lens cap to my camera go rolling down the hill.  Luckily, it go caught in a bush or it would have been gone.  That was enough for me.  I retrieved my cap and sat at the top shaking as I watched my son out there.  I am getting ill just thinking about it.  But it made for a really great picture. 
During the summer, the Grand Canyon is in "monsoon season", getting rain each afternoon.  We were at a Ranger Talk at Hopi Point when we watched the above storm move in.  He sternly asked us all to step away form the edge and warned us all about lightening.  And I couldn't for the life of me remember what I was supposed to do in case of lightning - is sitting under a tree bad? Cause that's what we did for 15 minutes while it rained......
It was an amazing day.  My 4 year old was a trooper - hiking right along with us - waiting patiently as we took pictures.  At the end of the trail at Hermit's Rest, we had cookies and sodas and sat on a few rocks overlooking the canyon.  We had a great conversation about nothing and laughed at each other.  It was one of those moments I will never forget. 

No comments: