Wandering West Day 4, Sunday, June 27
We’re all just a little bit tired as we get ready to call it a day this evening. We went to bed last night saying we would not be setting an alarm this morning. Well, sure enough, my eyes popped open at 5:30 am. I don’t think my body has adjusted to the two-hour time change. So, I made cinnamon rolls (and by made I mean opened the Pillsbury package and put them in the oven), made myself a cup of coffee, went outside and watched the elk roam around our campground. I think you could call that a peaceful morning.
Today was our first full day to explore Grand Canyon National Park. There are a few things to remember when exploring here. First, take more water than you think you’ll need with you. Second, try to do any strenuous activities early in the morning. Third, if you walk down it, you’re going to have to walk up it. I totally took that last one for granted.
We wanted to experience hiking in the Grand Canyon so we had picked out what we had heard was an easy to moderate trail. Fifteen of us loaded up and set out to hike the South Kaibab Trail on the South Rim. We all started together but finished separately in smaller groups for much different reasons. Scott and Logan made it to Ooh Ahh point with us but they were hugging the wall the whole way. They were not fans of the height. If you ask either of them what they thought about the views they’ll tell you all they saw were feet, there was no way they were looking up. Noah, Riggs, and Kevin made it almost to our turn-around point but I think Riggs and Noah had had enough. So, they found a shady spot with Kevin to hang out and wait for us. I guess they got tired of waiting because they started back up the trail. According to Kevin, Noah only died 35 times and almost died 40 times on the way back up. LOL!
The remaining ten of us continued down the trail until we got to Cedar Ridge. It was only about a mile and a half to this point and we were all feeling pretty good, after all, going downhill is easy. Then came the hard part…we had to go back up. Like I said earlier, I totally took this part for granted. Of course our younger, more agile, active kids made fast work of the 1.5 miles back up. Some of us though (namely Johnny and I) took our time getting back to the top. I consider myself to be in decent enough shape for 40 years old. I run 7-10 miles a week and do a HIIT or weight workout on my non-run days, but let me tell you, Arizona sun, high altitudes and an elevation gain of 1,082 feet will knock you on your rear. It took twice as long to climb to the top as it did going down but in the end, we all made it! Now we can say we have hiked a part of the Grand Canyon.
The rest of the day we all went our separate ways at times to explore the different gift shops and visitor centers. We, of course, had to find as many places as we could to have our National Parks Passport Book stamped. Our family has had so much fun collecting all the cancellation stamps at the national parks we visit.
Tonight we took it easy, grilled some hot dogs and are attempting to settle down at a decent hour. We have an early wake-up call tomorrow…2:30 am. Yep, you read that right! We have to be on the road headed to Page, AZ no later than 3 am. Tomorrow night I’ll tell you why so stay tuned!