Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Visions of the Southwest~ Hiking One of the World's Seven Wonders: Grand Canyon National Park ~ WW

Welcome friends~

Thanks for visiting for  my continuing series
around the amazing and  beautiful spots we
explored during our trek Out West last month!
As I'm sure many of YOU feel as well,
it's our opinion that  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.
No way.
You must venture within.
Hike down into it.
Even if 22 summers ago 
("B.C.," -  you know what that means, right?)
 July 31, of '92, 
to be exact 
you and your hubby hiked rim to river and back 
In. One. Day.
That's 9.2 miles each way
and an elevation of over 5,000 feet on the
 Bright Angel Trail of the South Rim.
And you almost, literally, almost, died of heatstroke.
I. Kid. You. Not.
And didja click that link above for the trail??
Well, go back there guys....
notice how labels
The Bright Angel 
"One of America's Most Dangerous Trails?'

Remember  how the pain of childbirth 
is shoved back into the deep recesses
of your brain and subsequent 
pregnancies occur and you're thrilled
and blessed and when reality sets in about what you need
endure in 40 weeks, you think, 
It wasn't that bad last time.....
So, yeah, he talked me into it.
We're 22 years older
and less in shape.
( !! ) 
But.....this time around,
we "only" hiked halfway down.
Just 4.6 miles from the South Rim to Indian Gardens.
Okay, doable, right?
Welllllllll.....down,  yes.
Up, ummmmm, that's another story.
We made it.
Yes, we did.
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
and did not capture it!
So this photo credit
and my friend, Monica, for telling me I could find it online!

And love?
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 ofthe switchback up ahead,
borderline panicked about AGAIN 
being stuck in the Canyon and 
how on Earth did I let you talk me into this?
Am I nuts?

Think we had an awful time, given all this crazy talk?
Well, quite the contrary.
We had an amazing time.
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.
Where 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.
It is the one place where so many hope to go One Day. 
Our God set in motion the forces,
millions of years ago,
 which carved and created and perfected
one of the most jaw dropping and
Grandest of spectacles on the planet.
And we are here, in this moment,
living it.
What a time to be alive.
To revel in the splendor and in
His creation.

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.
But we were spared super-heat in early morn!

We made it  halfway to the Colorado River!

These shots were taken from Plataea Point,
which is 1.5 miles striaght out over the Colorado:

 Yup, that's the mighty Colorado,
in these shots above and below~~


 Look who we found on the trail~

Yeah, smiling!
Boy, were we hotttttttt!
And weary!
But we did it!!

Later that day~

A kiva on the East Rim

Rewarded with an amazing sunset that night!

That night~~
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,
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!

A cool shirt at The Village gift shop........

The historic El Tovar Hotel by the South Rim

What a trip,
what an experience...

It's truly hard to describe  how epic and 
well, grand,  it really was.

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time here at my home on the web!

Don't forget to subscribe to Campfires and Cleats
 by scrolling to the subscribe button at the  top left sidebar.
I'd love to stay in touch regularly.

Until next time,



  1. What majestic scenic views, TFS!

    1. Thanks so much, Heather!
      And thank YOU for stopping by!

  2. One of my dream place to visit! Amazing place =) #ww

    1. It is truly amazing!!

      Thanks for stopping by!!

  3. Breathtaking views Chris, looks amazing.. One day,,,, looks like a dream place to visit :-)

    1. It WAS breathtaking, Claire....the pics really don't do it justice!!

      I do hope you get there one day!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Super cool photos. I really want to go there.

    1. Thanks so much....!!
      I certainly hope you do vet to visit The Canyon one day soon!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Stunning photos!
    Please share at

    1. Sue~
      Thanks for stopping over and for the kind words!I would love to share at your WW next week!!

      I appreciate the invitation!

  6. What a wonderful adventure. My children were recently asking about the Grand Canyon so I broke out photos of the one time I went years and years ago. One day I will get there again with my ids. So glad you and yours were blessed with this trip.

    1. Martianne~
      How wonderful that you have such great pics to share with them! I'm sure you'll get back there soon again and this time with the kids!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Again, gorgeous pictures. And camping in the Canyon, complete with campfire, hot dogs and s'mores! Glorious.....!

    1. Nancy~

      Thanks so much, friend...I always enjoy your visits tremendously!!

      Well, the campfires and yummy treats did offset the agony of the hike, I have to say!! It truly was glorious, as you say!

      Hope all is well!


  8. This is our dream One Day visit! Breathtaking photos and sounds like such a wonderful time with your family! Hopefully one day I can post about our trip :)

    1. Jenni~
      Looking fwd to YOUR post/pics in the future!

      I appreciate your visit...thanks for stopping by!


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