I’d been to the Grand Canyon on a family vacation about 10 years ago. I remember clearly thinking yeah, it will be cool, but really – what’s all the fuss about a big hole in the ground?
Yep, I was wrong. I was surprised at how astounding it really is. And it was just as breathtaking this time. I’d managed to book a place at one of the campsites right in the park – amazing, given it’s now Summer and most of the places seem to be booked months in advance! Unfortunately the weather didn’t really cooperate. When we arrived it was windy and of course started to rain as soon as we got out to pitch the tent. Luckily (and unsurprisingly), not long after the rain passed over and the sun even poked its head out. It made for some amazing light over the canyon. Like Sedona, the colors are amazing, but a bit more colorful. There are a lot more blues and purples and yellows in the GC. We had a really clear day and the visibility was great – we could see for miles. Because of the route we were taking, we came at the Canyon from the South, which is the much more developed side. It’s both good and bad – there are a lot of organized walks and activities you can take advantage of, but there are also huge crowds of people. We did one Ranger guided walk along the rim that talked about the wildlife. Ranger Emily (in her oh-so-stylish Ranger hat) told us some interesting stories about the early attempts at park management that went wrong – makes me wonder what we’re doing today that people one hundred years from now will be shaking their heads at. There were also a neat exhibit that showed photos of the early life on the rim – I’m always into the historical perspective.
Nick made a good friend as we were having a snack on the canyon rim – Sammy the Squirrel. He wasn’t tame – he was wild for people! I was afraid he might bite if we didn’t give him what he wanted…a sort of wildlife terrorism. I’ll add our little video we took here.
Camping here was really the highlight of the GC. Our campsite was great – it was surrounded by other sites, but you didn’t really feel like there was anyone there. We managed to fit in a little happy hour with cheese and crackers, a good bottle of wine and some tunes before we drove back out to a scenic overlook to view the sunset. BEAUTIFUL! We made ourselves jiffy pop, toasted sandwiches, and Nick got to try s’mores. He’s pretty handy to have around – he managed to fashion a marshmallow toasting stick out of a long piece of wood, rope and the short metal handle from the popcorn…though why we couldn’t just use a stick I don’t know.