They weren't kidding!!
We Love the beautiful Aspens!
It's official - we're here!!
It was so cool for the kids to see it for the first time (especially since Caleb had been talking about it for the past eight months!)
It sure is Grand
Fun silhouette under one of the lodge porches
This short hike out to Bright Angel Point was SO windy!!!
Keenan worked on his Junior Ranger handbook at every opportunity!
We did a 23 mile (fairly crazy, narrow, windy road) drive out to Cape Royal. We stopped for lunch and did a short hike to this cabin at Greenland Lake:
(We could have actually eaten inside, but it was cold and we opted for a sunnier, slightly less windy option outside:
(Yes, I did bring a towel from the RV to put over my legs)
The drive to Cape Royal sure was worth it! (Although Philip says the stress of it took several years off his life) =)
We did some short hikes along the rim...
Angel's Window arch
Keenan thinks this is a White Breasted Nuthatch
Closer view of the arch and people on top
The Colorado River at the bottom
Some windy family shots
So many pictures, so few words...
Showing the crazy winding road on the GPS
...and then we came across this!
Philip and I got out (and I totally thought we were just going to push it out of the way - ha! It was still attached pretty well by it's roots though and wouldn't budge! Philip was able to break a piece off long enough to free up the other lane so we could pass). This was not down when we drove through in the other direction and was not the only tree that we think was felled by the wind (although the others did not block the road this much).
More beautiful Aspens
We got settled at the campground, and then Philip, Caleb and Moriah played some Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site Memory...
We went to a Ranger talk (freezing, but interesting) about the California Condors. We were So hoping to spot some while we were in the park, but never did, so thank you, Google, for the image:
They are the largest bird in North America with a wingspan of up to 9.5 feet! They have been brought back from the brink of extinction and there are now about 450 of them.
Next we "walked" to the lodge to watch the sunset. The "walk" turned out to be much more hike than walk and was about 1.5 miles each way. It was worth it though, as the show was breathtaking...
It was incredible, watching the sun move across the canyon...
Last bits of sun...
...and then it started to creep back as it slipped below a band of clouds!
Chilly family selfie
Wow! It totally lit up again!
This is one of my very favorite pictures of the whole trip
Keenan standing at the height that he may be some day!
At this point, Moriah, Caleb and I opted to start hiking back (since it was freezing cold and we didn't want to be watching in the pitch black and we still needed to make dinner). We realized soon after we left that we'd forgotten to get the RV keys, so took our time and captured some pictures on my phone on the way back...
Isn't this gorgeous!?
How adorable are they?
Bonus points if you know what part in what movie this reminds me of!
Back to Philip and Keenan still at the lodge:
Love this one
Showing some of the many people gathered to watch the sunset
Philip got some gorgeous shots of the sun on the clouds!
Philip and Keenan caught up to us just after we got back into the campground huffing and puffing since they were hustling to try and catch us. After pulled pork nachos for dinner, Philip and Keenan went back out for a walk and laid down on the edge of the rim trail to watch some stars =) They said you could actually see a thin band of lights across the canyon from the South Rim Village.
The next morning, the kids got their Junior Ranger Badges...
Philip got some great shots from behind the counter (with permission from the Ranger)...
...and the sign on the wall showing where we were
The kids were stoked to see the Grand Canyon for the first time, and Philip and I were excited to see it from the North Rim for the first time (we went to the South Rim on our honeymoon). The North Rim is 1000 feet higher and gives you a much better view of the South Rim vs. the indistinct view of the North Rim you get from the south. Traveling on!