During our first summer in Arizona we went to the Grand Canyon. We were campers then. Granted we had a tent trailer, but c’mon we still had to walk to the nearest bathroom to use the facilities so I consider it camping. I guess technically we didn’t have to walk to the bathroom. It did have a portable toiletish bowl thingy that we could have used but, well, ew.
Moving right along though.
Of course I’d heard about the grandness of the Grand Canyon. I mean, it’s pretty tough to miss that first word of its title right? But I always assumed it was an overstatement. A meaningless word tacked on to it by some zealous granola head who probably would appreciate a geyser more than he would an amazingly designed outlet mall. Whatever. I figured that since we’re close and all we might as well take the kids up there and spend a long weekend camping. It was another place they could cross off of their lists.
So after a grueling trip (think blown tire with a backseat full of exhausted, whining children) that took about three hours more than we planned for, we made it. It was pitch black when we arrived. Luckily Jeff is pretty adept at putting things together (it’s an engineer thing apparently) and he was able to quickly and efficiently erect a little home on wheels where only a box on wheels existed before. Once tucked into our cozy little beds we all drifted off and caught some much needed z’s.
By the light of morning we were able to appreciate things much more.
We drove to the rim of the canyon where I expected to see a big ‘ol hole in the ground before promptly heading back to the campsite for a game of Frisbee. Well, to my surprise the scene that stretched out before me was far more than a hole in the ground. I can honestly say that what I saw there took my breath away. It left the girls in awe too; they just stared on in utter silence and that, I can assure you, doesn’t happen everyday.
I have pictures. Unfortunately, when it comes to relaying an accurate view of what we saw, these fail miserably.
We camped for four nights and I daresay that it was one of the most amazing trips we’ve taken. We spent hours playing a game we called rock tag. We learned a lot about fossils and California condors at the many ranger programs we took time to visit. The girls even earned their first Junior Ranger badges. Hiking along the canyon rim was time well spent. Kennedy even earned the nickname Hiker Ken because in spite of all that complaining (and boy was there a lot of it) she didn’t collapse in defeat. Cassidy, on the other hand, earned the nickname dead weight for reasons portrayed in the photos below. When the afternoon thunderstorms would roll in we’d retreat to the safety of our trailer for UNO card games that seemed to last FOR. EVER. Exploration of nature stuff filled the remainder of the day while smores and campfire stories filled the evenings. After four TV and video gameless days had passed and we packed up and drove away, homebound, Torri told me that she had more fun at Grand Canyon that at Disney World. Uh-huh. You read that right. Once I recovered from the coronary spasm, I admitted that it most certainly was an amazing trip.
* Yes, Cassidy is both picking her nose and wearing a sweatshirt that reads “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” We’re camping, not modeling. Deal.