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Wednesday, July 15

Across the Universe (Beatles)

You can't just visit a place of historic and epic grandeur, a wonder of the world, for heaven's sake, by glancing over a turn - out in the road.  Even a few turn - outs.  You must venture within...hike down into it.

Backpacker.com labels The Bright Angel "One of America's Most Dangerous Trails.'  But we made it!  However, the only way I got out was with the constant encouragement of my hubby and boys with all the rah rah, Look at her go. You can do it. We're almost there Mom.

Okay, don't lie to me.  We're SO NOT almost there guys.  Telling and somewhat scary sign, wouldn't you say?  We spotted it on the way down!

Love is...

As you traverse upward, the sun is high, albeit thankfully, behind clouds, the walls of the Canyon are radiating heat, temps are low 90s now and you realize you're hiking through the desert to boot, your hubby dumps his liter bottle of water on your head with 1.5 miles to go to ascend and tells how great you look, even though you're sweat streaked, crying, planning  aloud where you'll throw up in the shade of the switchback up ahead, borderline panicked about AGAIN being stuck in the Canyon and  how on Earth did I let you talk me into this?

It was exhilarating; it was gorgeous.  It was one of those corny, one-with-nature times of our lives that will never happen again.  We're on the same trail walked by Hopi and Navajo  thousands of years ago.  Photographers wait patiently for just the right moment, the right lighting, the right angle of sun and shadow for that perfect picture.  And yet, The Grand Canon cannot be the subject of an imperfect picture.  It is true perfection.
So, our hike?
Here goes~~ We left the South Rim at about 4:40 AM  at 49 degrees F to beat the heat and sun.  Turns out we weren't actually treated to the amazing show of nature because of heavy cloud coverage, sunset over the Grand Canyon, even more stunning and unique as seen from below the rim.

The most amazing site ever.  'Really.  But we were spared super-heat in early morn!  We made it  halfway to the Colorado River!  Yup, that's the mighty Colorado, in these shots above and below!

In the evening,a kiva on the East Rim rewarded us with an amazing sunset that night!
That night~~campfire!  Roasting hot dogs!  Melting s'mores!  The quiet and peace of the Desert View Campground!  Though in all honesty the rain, or shall I say, monsoon, both nights we camped at the Canyon was less than, well, convenient,  given our accommodations.

When your room has nylon sides and you're on the ground most of the time, it's really perfect.  Throw in temps in the high 40s and driving rain at a serious, almost horizontal angle and well, not-so-perfect.  But by morning and then once we were all dried out, it was all fine.  The next day, stiff and sore, but excited to do a little more exploring.....the boys are sworn in as Junior Rangers!


What a trip, what an experience...  It's truly hard to describe  how epic and, well, grand, it really was.

Grand Canyon Unit Study

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Today's guest writer, Chris, writes for Campfires & Cleats.  You can find her on Facebook.