Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Canyon So Grand

All week I've been hoping someone would ask me what I did over the weekend. (Of course, no one has. Probably because my primary social contact is with three year-olds.) So if you're over the age of three, go ahead. Ask.

Oh, I went to the Grand Canyon.

Okay, okay. Please forgive my inner-braggart. It's just that I've always wanted to be able to say that. It sounds so...well, grand. And up until recently, I thought that despite many world travels, I'd never experienced the Grand Canyon. (My mom actually informed me that I may have visited the park as a very young child, but couldn't remember for sure. Perhaps someone Anonymous can chime in?)

Anyway, back in January we set a family goal to visit the Grand Canyon this year. As October hit, we realized that we'd better hurry up and go if we were going to make it this season. So when the girls got a couple days off of school for fall break, we hopped in the car and discovered the North rim.
Photographing the Grand Canyon is difficult. It's so enormous that a lens simply can't capture the feeling of being there. In some ways, I think these fantastic trees encapsulate it best--rugged, unpredictable, winding, and ancient.

Instead of trying to capture the canyon in its immensity, it's better to focus on the minutiae. Can you feel the cool, crisp air? Oh, how I love fall!
Here's the whole family.
And a close-up of the wee folks.
Best of all, we didn't travel alone. NomiAnn joined us from Omaha for the weekend. While the short jaunt to the North rim may not be that impressive for St. George, it certainly sets you apart as a Nebraskan! Here we have three generations of firstborn daughters.
Jason points out some marvels to Talia.
At canyon's edge, we kept a CLOSE eye on Talia. Her daredevil personality made us all jumpy. Cuidado!
Brooklyn and Talia unite in a sisterly hug.
Sometimes you've just gotta dance.
Coming up on Angels Window.
Eli, Jason, NomiAnn, Talia, and Brooklyn
With Angels Window in the background.
What a great climbing tree!
NomiAnn keeps a handle on Eli.
You're behaving too, right Talia Lily?
The end of a glorious day.
While visiting the canyon in late October was absolutely perfect for avoiding crowds and enjoying beautiful cool weather, overnight camping was definitely nippy. Fortunately, we came prepared to bundle up.
Talia sound asleep with Brooklyn still wide awake. Quite typical.
By morning, everyone was all squinched together for extra warmth.
After a brisk walk to see the sun illuminate the canyon, we all warmed up around the campfire.
Can't start the day without a hug, right Eli and Brooklyn?
Jason and NomiAnn work on breakfast.
Looks nummy, Talia!
It's just not camping without s'mores. We actually saved the marshmallow roast until morning because we were so stuffed with dutch oven peach cobbler the night before.
Brooklyn shows off her newest creation: roasted Starburts covered in Marshmallow.
While it may seem like life can't get any better than s'mores for breakfast, we hit the grand finale when we stopped off for a hike in the Vermillion cliffs on the way home. All together, we explored "Wire Pass"--a narrow slot canyon accessible from the same trailhead where you access "the Wave." Definitely worth the miles of bumpy dirt road required to get there.

Brooklyn and Eli watch another hiker scale the walls.
Jason, how'd you get all the way up there?
Talia quickly follows suit.
Believe it or not, the kids were actually sad to turn around, wishing that they could wade (swim?) through the next series of muddy pools instead. As grown-ups, however, we'd had our share of adventure and were ready for a rest... least until next time.
So enough about my weekend. How was yours?


Anonymous said...

Kara, I've only flown over, and driven around (sortof) the Grand Canyon. (It is on my bucket list though.) As usual your camping photos are wonderful. Even the camp food looks tempting. What wonderful memories all of you are accumulating!

Brittney Richards said...

I love how they are wearing shorts and coats - nothing speaks more of fall than that. I'm sad that we couldn't join you for camping in the Grand Canyon. Remember when we went camping in November at Shades national park in Indiana. Good times!!