Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How Grand!

Isaac and Brighty

We got up early this morning and drove about three hours to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The drive was beautiful and a big surprise was the green pine trees that got thicker and taller as we neared our destination. I guess we thought it would be kind of barren and deserty. 

We started out with a Ranger talk for--you guessed it--Jonah and Isaac's Junior Ranger program. It was a short presentation about Brighty, a little burro who was a popular and much loved part of the early days of the Grand Canyon. There is even a kid's book by Marguerite Henry titled, Brighty of the Grand Canyon that tells all about him. I went right to the book store and picked up my own copy. 

The first hike we took was the Bright Angel's Point trail, a one mile walk out to a beautiful overlook. There were some pretty steep hills and the 8000 feet elevation was not kind to my lungs. Thank goodness I'm in such fine shape or I would have really struggled!

No picture can do justice to the scenery, but this one came close. How many family pictures do we have from this trip? This might be the first one. Thanks to the stranger who offered to take our family picture. 

Bright Angel's Point

The thing I loved about the North Rim was that it wasn't crowded. There were plenty of people there, but nowhere near the numbers we found at Yosemite or Zion. The stunning lodge was surrounded by small log cabin rentals complete with rocking chairs on the front porches. Some even had a front row view of the canyon. I bet sunrise is spectacular.

Looking out from Point Royal

Our second hike was Point Royal which required a 45 minute drive down a winding road to access the .6 mile, flat trail. In other words, hike easy, drive hard. And the drive was hard only because the boys were complaining slash threatening to throw up slash whining.

But the view from Point Royal was completely different than the one from Bright Angel's Point. We could actually glimpse a small section of the Colorado river. 

Angel's Window

On the way back to the car, Robert, Ethan and Jonah took a short detour to Angel's Window overlook. (See picture above) Isaac was ready to be done with the Grand Canyon Adventure, so I left Robert with the boys and worried the whole time we were apart that they'd all fallen over the edge. When I saw pictures like this, I'm glad I wasn't with them. I probably would have had a heart attack watching Jonah lean up against the railing.


I-Shüan Warr said...

Beautiful pictures! It must be absolutely SPECTACULAR in real life. It's been years since I went and I think we pretty much just drove through. And probably got postcards to show we went.

I just saw that the library has a DVD of the Brighty story! You should put it on hold so you can all watch it together when you get home.

Angela said...

Great pictures!!! I can't believe how green it is! I didn't imagine that at all.

Natalie said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who hyperventilates about kids being too close to possible death. What gorgeous pictures! Glad no one fell way way waaaaay down there. Little note: I have a cousin who fell off a cliff. (She is okay, though she suffered some head trauma.)There was a lookout that was supposed to have a glass window in it--like the other ones right next to it--but the glass had been removed and there was no sign!!! Can you believe that?! She leaned forward and fell out. SO scary!

beadiemom said...

I only visited the Grand Canyon for about 30 minutes, because Duncan, at 3, had no fear of the edge and was giving me constant heart attacks--he would not hold onto my hand, and would not stay away from the edge! After a little while of that I said I needed to go back to the hotel! Pat and Blake had a great day touring all around the canyon.

There were millions of tiny red bugs that would land all over people's white t-shirts when we were there--did you see those?

I'm glad you had fun despite the fears of a kid falling over the edge!