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 Snow Bowl, 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), I 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. Morganne kept saying that she didn't think it was this big - it really surprised her.
All I wanted to do was stare - the beauty is breathtaking. Even in the picture above, it looks unreal, right?
Jack 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 could barely take a picture I was shaking so much - so surprised this one came out at all. 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. Ian was a trooper - hiking right along with us - waiting patiently as we took pictures. Only asking to be carried once or twice. During the last part of the trail, Ian asked about my cross on my necklace - "Is it the same one Jesus died on mom?" We got on the topic of Jesus and Ian asked where he was - that started an awesome conversation about Heaven and death and God and our faith with all 3 of the kids. And it couldn't have been in a cooler setting.
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.
The fifth day of our incredible road trip, we went to the Grand Canyon. I thought it would be just a small canyon with the Colorado River running beneath it. Boy was I wrong. They had many different points, trails, and many scenic views. My visit was amazing. If you don’t want to walk so much you can ride the free shuttles. There are 4 different shuttle roads.
• The purple route- to the Imax theater and back to the park
• The blue route- the lodges and food
• The orange route- many incredible points
• The red route- many scenic points and some paved hiking trails
My favorite place was Powell Point on the Red route. It practically stuck out into the canyon! It took us all day to do mostly everything. So if you are planning to go to the Canyon, BRING LOTS OF SNACKS AND WATER SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY THINGS! Also be prepared for weird weather. Did you know if your hair sticks up in a thunderstorm, you are about to be zapped by lightning? The MOST IMPORTANT THING is to bring memory storage for your camera that is empty. If you have kids and are doing the Junior Ranger Program, make sure you find a ranger before 5 o’clock so you don’t have to hunt one down at a Ranger talk after 5. The Grand Canyon is truly an amazing sight.
P.S.- don’t forget to see the sunset. We sadly didn’t see it because of the cloudy day. It was nice to walk around in though.
Yesterday we went to the Grand Canyon National Park. When I got my first glimpse of it I was amazed. It was as far as the eye could see. Really! I loved all the different colors made by the sun. After I caught my first glimpse, I crawled onto an edge and looked down. Mom was so nervous that when she tried to switch her camera lenses she accidentally dropped one of them. Luckily it stopped just before the edge. Even when she tried to take a picture of me her hands were so shakey that she only got a few pictures of me!