Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Grand Canyon

My best friend of 20+ years, Katy, moved out to Tucson several months ago. She's only here for a year to finish up her PHD program but I thought while she's here Max and I should show her the sites. This obviously includes the Grand Canyon.

Picture courtesy of Katy
I'm pretty sure when we demanded asked her to go she wasn't super enthused. Everyone, including my younger self, that isn't from around here think's its just a giant crater in the ground. But OMG you would be wrong. It has side canyons, waterfalls, a giant river, and amazing views and the sheer size is over whelming. I tried my damnedest to convince her but I don't think anything quite sunk in. She was just going to have to see it for herself.

We booked reservations at the Bright Angel Lodge, scheduled a babysitter for Jack and the dogs (a toddler at the Canyon sounds like my worst nightmare), and packed up the car. Her fiancee even flew into town so he could see it too.

Picture courtesy of Katy
We all crossed our fingers that it would be a clear day with snow on the ground. There is nothing quite like the Canyon in snow. It adds a little extra something.

But sometimes life sucks....

It was a super foggy cloudy day with rain. When you looked over the Canyon edge it was nothing but white as far as you could see. All the fog and clouds had settled into the bottom. We toured some gift shops, ate lunch, and got settled in our rooms in hopes that it would clear up through out the day.

No such luck.

We ended up driving to Hermits Rest anyway just to see it. On our way back down we noticed a few vistas off to the left. We stomped on the brakes, jumped out of the car, and ran to the edge like children. My mother would be appalled.

But sure enough as we peered over the edge we saw Canyon floor! We could see everything. All the clouds had lifted and the fog came spilling out. 

We even got a great view of the river which can be hard to spot. 

Needless to say we took an unholy amount of pictures in every pose you could imagine so we didn't waste our one good view. Who knew if we were going to get another one.

We drove back down to the lodge and milled around passing the time peering over the edge in hopes the views would come back but not so much. We enjoyed dinner and went to bed early. We were all pretty beat from the drive and the view search.

The next morning we threw the curtains back and OMG a winter wonderland! It had snowed something like 3-4 inches. It was magical. 

Picture courtesy of Katy
Katy has very limited snow adventures so this was a super treat and we were all so excited! I was bummed Jack missed it but he was only somewhat amused on our last snow adventure so it was probably for the best.

We spent the morning searching for views again but the super cold weather and active snowing filled the Canyon with clouds and we found nothing all day. 
Picture courtesy of Katy
Picture courtesy of Katy
We headed to a few tourist destinations and then decided to call it day. We picked out souvenirs and headed home. Max talked a big game about the "back way" home and how it was so amazing so we decided to trust him. The first half was filled with a beautiful drive through the snow. We stopped to double check a few vista points but we didn't find much. Except a snow angel. No one is quite sure how it got there 😉
Picture courtesy of Katy
Picture courtesy of Katy
As we came further down off the rim we decided to visit the Little Colorado Gorge on the Navajo Reservation.

It was simply breath taking. The river was flowing at the bottom and the sheer cliff sides were stunning. We all took it in as much as we could.

After we had our fill we piled into the car and made the long trek home. 

Our Grand Canyon trip was short with not as many views as we would have liked but it was so much fun!

I can't wait for our next adventure :)