Welcome back to my blog!  I’m recapping our trip across the country, in our camper.  Here’s the totals that we traveled for the whole trip:

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This is days 11 & 12 and we’ve made it to The Grand Canyon.  Ah, the Grand Canyon.  

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What can I say about this magnificent land?  Well, here’s what we came up with:

Grand Canyon:  hot, dusty, large

Not very descriptive, but oh my, that place is HOT.  Like sweaty hot. And dusty! Like every trail you hike down will be dry and dusty.  And of course large. Very, very large. It’s a very interesting sight to see as you approach the Grand Canyon.  It’s a big crack in the ground that goes on forever, and gets bigger and bigger. When you look into it, it’s green from the Colorado river!

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We made it!!

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Amazing views from the edges – which by the way, did you know you can walk right up to the edge of the canyon.  I would say most of it has no hand rails. So don’t trip.  Or wear flip flops – which is exactly what I did when I took this picture.  I tripped.  While wearing flip flops.  Thankfully I didn’t drop the camera!  And then I FREAKED out (inside my head, so my kids wouldn’t think I’m an idiot).

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As I’ve mentioned earlier in my blog, we did a LOT of hiking on this trip.  It was not unusual for us to hike between 10 and 13 miles in a day. However, when I looked at the trail descriptions for the GC, they all said “steep with little to no shade, with excellent views”.  Yes, all the same thing. Finally, we decided on the Bright Angel trail.

Did you know the GC gets hotter as you go down?  I would have never guessed that.

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Speaking of hydration, I think we drank 10 times our body weight in water at the GC.  So hot on our hikes!

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At one point during our hike we passed a team of mules making their decent into the canyon.

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We looked like pro hikers with our treking sticks!

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The first stop along the Bright Angel trail was at 1.5 miles.  At this point, I was ready to be done. My quads were trembling from the decent into the canyon!!  Phew. They said the hike up was going to take twice as the long as the descent. NO JOKE.

3 miles was enough hiking for me that day, and we spent the rest of the day riding the shuttle bus and shopping.  By the time we got back to the camper, we were thrilled to take our shoes off.  Did I mention it was dusty there??

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Our campground was “primitive”, meaning we had no electric, water or sewer hookup,  Just like camping in a tent, but with battery power for lights and water. Even so, we could still take showers and had hot water thanks to our propane tank.  Getting clean felt heavenly.

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It was a nice quiet campground with special visitors – a pair of elk!  They just rambled along, not really bothered by people.  Do you see the male elk in the camper picture?  He’s behind the back.  Here he is in the campsite next to us…

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We also saw a raven (which is a huge bird!) ripping through our neighbors belongings.  Rule – put your stuff away at your campsite!

We did make it back to the GC after dinner for a sunset picture.  It was a nice glow!

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The evening was a highlight of our trip though.  The GC had a special week with astronomers (“Star Party”) visiting.  The astronomers brought their own telescopes and set them up in the parking lot for all of us to use!  There were around 50 set up, and each person was showing us (mostly) different features in the night sky.  The sky is so dark there, every little tiny star shows up. I joked that in Ohio we only see 3 stars in our nighttime sky!  An exaggeration, but compared to this area, it seemed true. Not only did we see things like star clusters and different galaxies, we also saw a bunch of shooting stars!

Even if we were showed Jupiter 4 times that night, each telescope looked different, so it was not all the same thing each time.  Btw, we could see all of the bands on Jupiter. Such clarity!

One AMAZING thing that we saw happened while we were just standing there.  All of a sudden I saw a burst of color out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see what looked like a Roman Candle ball bursting through the air.  My first reaction was “they couldn’t possibly be shooting off fireworks because it’s super dry and there is a ‘no burn’ restriction going on.” My second thought was “that would be super lame if that was something shot off by someone”.  My final reaction was “OMG, what the &*^&$@ was that?? What was that??!?!?”

This is NOT my picture, but I swear it looked JUST like this!

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Sure enough, the astronomers barely batted an eye and said it was a meteor.  A “3 or 4 time in a lifetime experience”. Apparently they already had their 3 times of seeing something like that because it wasn’t a big deal to them.  I, on the other hand, was totally amazed and in disbelief! WOW (my apologies to Alan for this excited rendition of the story. He was the only member of the family that did not get to see the meteor and was disappointed).

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Q:  Have you ever seen a shooting meteor?

Q:  Ever visit the Grand Canyon?  What was your impression of it?

4 thoughts on “Epic Road Trip – The Grand Canyon”
  1. WOW that’s so cool that you got to see a meteor and that your visit coincided with the star party! Look at that tan you got during the trip!!!

    Over the weekend I bought a fancy-ish toothbrush that stops if you’re brushing too hard. I think of you every single time it stops since you wrote that post about how you brush too hard. I had NO IDEA I brushed hard until I got this toothbrush!
    Kristina recently posted…New Blog Layout!My Profile

    1. I did see your new toothbrush (on your vlog maybe?)! I was a very heavy handed tooth brusher and I think that lead to my need for gum grafting… so that’s a great thing you are realizing the issue now! Protect those gums!
      Love the new blog layout. Very clean looking!

  2. We went the the GC two years ago and we thought it was so beautiful. I had read that there was barely any railings, so I was expecting that. I’m still surprised more people don’t fall. Even though people fall every year, I would think there would be more. I saw lots of people standing or sitting on the edge…. UM LIKE YOU!!! What are you doing in that first picture!!!??? (Do I sound like your mother?) We did not hike down in because at the time Paul was having more medical issues and honestly even now I don’t think he’s in good enough shape to hike down even 1.5 miles! Was it scary hiking down? I am glad they warn everyone of the temps and water. Did you see that sign at the top of Bright Angel that depicted that woman that died down there?
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Weekend Wrap Up!My Profile

    1. I did not see the sign about that lady. Scary! That is all photo angles… I wasn’t really that close to the edge 🙂 You do sound like Alan though. haha! I was really surprised at how bad my legs were shaking from the hike down. I really think is was just fatigue from the previous hike at Zion. It wasn’t scary hiking down… just really, really hot! I did drop the lens cap from my camera at one point and it fell down the trail edge. We all decided it wasn’t worth the risk to try and retrieve it, so unfortunately it stayed there (which I feel bad about, because it was littering. But it wasn’t on purpose!)

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