Friday, July 9, 2010

Grand Vacation-Day Two-Morning

On the second day of our vacation, we woke up bright and early. I can tell you that American robins are the first bird to start singing, and they start long before the sun is even thinking about coming up. My tentmates were thankfully more oblivious to the noisy birds, so we didn't get out of the tent until the sun was up.

The DeMotte campground was quite nice, although I noted that many trees had been cut out of it. I'm guessing that they were diseased or dead, and the Forest Service didn't want any hazard trees left to endanger campers. There were a nice variety of ponderosa pine, aspen, and white fir.

We were on the road to the north rim of the Grand Canyon before 7:30 a.m. My brother Ed and I were surprised by the big open meadows along the way. We had visited the canyon in 1989, but we found we had huge gaps in our memories.

Being early meant we got a good parking spot, and we immediately started off along a trail near the canyon.

Ah, the early morning view of the Grand Canyon. The gorge going down the center of the photo from left to right is where the Kaibab Trail goes, 15 miles of hiking to get to the Colorado River. I had remembered that the trail was very long on the north rim side, but I sure didn't remember looking at the topography and seeing how far away the river was.

We met up with a volunteer ranger-guided hike and decided to join them. We learned about the different plants around the rim.

Emma didn't seem to appreciate the knowledge. As you can see, she was in the jogging stroller, which handled the terrain just fine, although I wouldn't want to let go of it in the wrong spot! But alas, we eventually got a flat tire and didn't get to finish the hike. We went back to the van and tried to patch the tire, but there were so many thorn holes (I think from near our house, not in the Grand Canyon), that it didn't work too well. So out came the baby carrier and we headed back to the canyon.

The Grand Canyon lodge is perched on the canyon edge and allows for spectacular views. It wasn't even busy at about 9:30 a.m.

Then we started hiking some more and stopped to take more photos. It's hard not to take photos at the Grand Canyon.
Desert Boy likes to dress himself these days, so his clothes are always askew and often backwards. We even had two different types of shoes on the other day. It gives him a great sense of accomplishment to dress himself, but it can make for some interesting photos!

We continued on the trail to Angel Point, which had some steep dropoffs. Fortunately Desert Boy listened to directions. He wore his adventure pack so he was ready for exploring.

We found a safe place to do a little rock scrambling and see more of the view. The Grand Canyon is so immense that it is quite overwhelming. It's hard to know where to look and definitely difficult to comprehend the grandness of it all.

Although the north rim is remote, there was a steady stream of people visiting the overlooks and hiking the trails.

On the way back to the van, Desert Boy spotted a bright red flower and wanted to take a closer look. So he took out his magnifying glass. I thought it was so cute of him. Then we realized he had picked the flower to hold it at a more convenient angle. Oops!

Here's one of my brother Ed's great photos. He took even more than me and generously shared them.

It was getting time for lunch, so we drove to Point Imperial to have a picnic lunch. Desert Boy thinks picnics are exciting, and we were happy to agree. There were picnic tables at the viewpoint, but they were in the sun so we got out our lawn chairs and made our own picnic area.

The view was great, and we had a relaxing lunch. The main course? Why, chips, of course! We could get Desert Boy to eat anything if we promised he could have some chips afterwards.

I guess this is what Emma thought of it all.


I Am Woody said...

Absolutely breathtaking!

Annette said...

Wow! So pretty.

g said...

I don't remember any rails on Angel Point. It was scary, especially with wild little boys.

maucotel said...

Beautiful pictures. There's nothing quite like the Grand Canyon to make you feel small.

Anonymous said...

Love the N. Rim much more than the S. Rim...when we were there 5 years ago,a group of astronomers set up their gear on the veranda, and the star gazing was unbelievable. Can't wait to get back to that part of the country.


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