Into the Canyon

We got up at 6 am to get ready do a hike down into the canyon.  We got to the visitor center and road the bus to the Kaibab Trail drop off point, since we weren’t allowed to drive there.

We headed down the trail with the intent of getting to “Ooo Aah Point”, which was about a mile down into the canyon.

There were a number of switch backs that descended down a cliff face and then we walk along the edge of the cliff. The trail was dusty and well-worn. There were several groups that were actually hiking back up as we were going down. And we had several people that passed us on the way down.

We took it slow–going at ~A~’s pace so that he could stay with us.

The cliff face that we were walking along had numerous steep drop-offs and were a bit nerve wracking to be near. Christine kept ~A~ on the inside of the trail all the way down so that he wouldn’t get too close to the edge.

We got to Ooo Aah point and it was pretty crowded and difficult to get a good view or get a chance to take pictures. That was a little frustrating. There were a number of other people that were heading further down into the canyon. You could look down and see the trail zig-zagging down the side continue on further in the canyon. I overheard someone saying that it was 9 miles down to “Skeleton point” and then another 4 to get to the bottom of the canyon.

In another life, I think it would be fun to hike all the way down.

…but we started back up towards the top.

I had ~A~ now and he was in good spirits and hiked like a trooper up to the top. He wanted me to carry him at one point, but I refused and just kept encouraging him and he made it all the way to the top on his own.

We were also thankful that the trail, for the most part, was still in the shade, so it was cool and enjoyable, rather than being hot in the direct sun.

I was really proud of ~A~ hiking the whole way (a 2 mile round trip) on his own. He was a real trooper!

After we were done, we caught the bus and went to Yuki point and then back to the visitor center. We then decided to ride the bus and transfer to the “Red” line so that we could do a little hiking along the rim.  But that didn’t turn out to be so simple because it was getting more crowded with all the people.

We did our hiking and saw several views of the canyon.  At this point, the sun had gotten hotter and it was getting more crowded at the park and we were pretty fried when we finally got back to the car.

We went out for lunch and then headed back to the hotel for a nap.

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Head South, then Turn Right When You See a Big Hole

On of the primary places that each person in our family said that they wanted to go when we went out west was: “To see the Grand Canyon.” Today was the day we headed there.

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We got up at 6 am, packed up and said “Good bye” to Bryce Canyon.

We drove down 89 south and took that the whole way. We stopped in Kanab along the way for groceries and gas. From what we could tell, there weren’t very many stores near the Grand Canyon, so we had to stock up before we got there.

We also stopped soon after crossing into Arizona, once at a scenic overlook that had a good view of Lake Powell, and soon after at a visitor’s center for the Lake Powell dam because we needed a potty break.

We turned of onto 64 and got into the Grand Canyon National Park and stopped at the first overlook to see the canyon. The place was mobbed with people.

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Then we drove to our hotel, intent on checking in. Alas, none of the rooms were ready and check-in wasn’t until 4 pm. We thought we were in Mountain Daylight time, but apparently the Grand Canyon area doesn’t change to daylight savings time, so it was 4 pm Mountain STANDARD time. Which meant we got our time bumped back another hour–3 hours behind Virginia time.

We had to burn a couple of hours, so we drove back into the Grand Canyon park and went to the visitor’s center to get some more information. There wasn’t anything there, and the Grand Canyon movie wasn’t running because the theater was out of order.

So we walked to the run and looked at the biggest hole in the ground and took some pictures.

We finally got back to our hotel. The room was small, but seemed clean.

~A~ took a late nap, so he was bouncing off the walls at 7 when we ate in the room. I took him to the pool for a little. We didn’t stay long because it was cold and crowded there.

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This is definitely the most crowded place we’ve been. More like going to an amusement park. We needed to reset our expectations and realize that we’re not the only ones that want to see a big hole in the ground.

Tomorrow we plan to get up early and go on a hike into the canyon. We’ll have to ride the shuttle to get to the trail head.