We woke up early and it was chilly – a welcomed change from the still summer like heat we left in Southern California. The high today would be 55 degrees! We layered up and put on our walking shoes, filling the backpack with some essentials for the day, and were at the south rim (quite literally the edge of the Grand Canyon) in what felt like about 100 steps. I knew we were close, but the online maps made it seem a bit further than it was. The view was breathtaking – all I had hoped for and then some! I’ve seen tons of pictures, but to see this beauty in person was truly magnificent. It helped that it was an absolutely beautiful day – look at that blue sky!
We walked along what I think was the Bright Angel Trailhead for quite some time, stopping to take pictures often. And sometimes just sitting for a minute to take it all in. The trail was pretty flat and just followed the curves of the landscape. Every turn brought about another stellar viewpoint. I wanted pictures of it all! Along the way, we asked other hikers to take our pic and then returned the favor to others. Everyone we came across was friendly (how could you not be in a good mood surrounded by all this?!), although for the first two hours or so on the trail, we only walked by a handful of other people. It was really nice, and quiet, and peaceful.
This was as close to the edge as we got. That sign tells you to back off or else (in so many words)!
Eventually we got to a bus stop and decided to hop on and take it to the latter stops where I heard you could see the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon. I’m not sure why, but I pictured blue raging whitewater. It ended up being pretty muddy, which makes a lot of sense given the landscape, and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down.
We spent the whole morning walking, exploring and bussing around the west side of the canyon. Around noon, we realized we hadn’t eaten yet, so we decided to drive back into town and grab a quick bite at Wendy’s. We should have ordered lighter knowing we had reservations at the El Tovar Dining Room for dinner, but we were hungry from our morning activity. We ended up eating too much lunch too late in the day and neither of us were very hungry later. We ended up skipping out on our reservations at the El Tovar Restaurant and dinner altogether.
Instead of dinner, I really wanted to see the sunset and get my souvenirs, so we walked back over to the rim.]
We saw some folks pointing at something and eagle eye Todd spotted what they were looking at. There was a lone Bighorn Sheep having a little appetizer on the cliffs below. I don’t know how we got down there or how he’d get back up, but he was maneuvering really well on the rocky landscape.
We made our way over to the Visitor Center and did a little shopping. (We collect magnets from our travels because they’re inexpensive, space conscious, travel well, and a great visual reminder of our fun.)
We were losing the sun…
I wanted a few more pics when we heard more commotion. We turned around to see something jaw dropping – the full moon was rising above the Canyon! [Turns out we were one day off from the full moon, but that tiny sliver wasn’t noticeable.] My pics really don’t do it justice, as this was a truly stunning sight. What a great way to end our visit to the Grand Canyon!
We checked out of the Maswik Lodge and got on the road early the next morning. There was originally a Phase 4 to this vacation. We had planned to break up the 7-hour drive home with a stop in Laughlin for the night, but after some discussion, we missed our dog, Ace, and were both ready to get home. It went something like:
Me: You know, we don’t HAVE to go to Laughlin tomorrow.
Todd: I miss Ace.
Me: Me too. Let’s just drive home.
We had a long but uneventful drive home, with the only hiccup being some road work on I-40 that delayed us about a half hour. So many trucks on the road! If you look carefully, you can see the long line of cars in front of this truck – all of us at a complete stop for 5-10 minutes at a time – ugh!
Once back in Riverside, we quickly stopped at my Mom’s to pick up Ace, who was very happy to see us, and then drove our last two miles home. A big thank you to my Mom for watching our boy while we were gone. We even got daily texts from him while at Camp Grandma’s letting us know what fun activities he did everyday. We were never worried he wasn’t being loved or taken care of, that’s for sure!
And c’mon, with this little mini-moo waiting for us, we had to get home asap!
This concludes Beth’s Guest Blog. We don’t know about the rest of you, but reading about Beth and Todd’s adventure makes us realize how much we miss travel! Thanks for sharing – it has been a treat to read about your travels (and, we have all made that late lunch mistake to foil the evening plans – one more reason to go back!!!)
Categories: Guest Blog