Thursday, July 3, 2014

Grand Canyon

Ian and I wanted to recap our fun adventure to the Grand Canyon.  Here are our favorite memories from our relaxing vacation. (If you would like to see the 2:30 video, scroll to the bottom)

Day #1 - Traveling
  • Packed the car and started towards Durango - the halfway point where we would camp for the night.
  • Stopped in Saguache, Colorado for lunch - Ian will tell you that I talked about my turkey and swiss sandwich from Saguache 4th Street Diner all week.  Best bread I have ever eaten in my life (it was homemade and amazing!)
  • Got to Durango in time to find a pub to watch the USA vs. Portgual game - the US fought well and it was fun to watch in a pub that was packed!
  • Camped at the KOA in Durango - it was a great experience - super clean bathrooms, friendly staff, and nice campsites.
  • Excited to have campfire that night.  The rest of our trip we were unable to have a nightly campfire due to dry conditions in the Grand Canyon (bummer!).
Scenic View on the Drive and our Campsite

Day #2 - Arriving

  • Stopped at the 4 Corners on our way through
  • Grateful to arrive safely at the Grand Canyon after hours of driving in Arizona.  Craziest drivers that I have ever experienced in my life in America

Warning: You will see my feet a lot in pictures of this trip

Day #3 - Exploring

  • We made a goal of covering the entire 13 mile South Rim Trail during our time at the Grand Canyon.  On day 3 we ran 3 miles of the eastern side of it.  So fun to see different angles of the Canyon.
  • We went for a 3 mile walk that evening through the campground and surrounding area.  We happened on elk several different times and got to see some baby elk (google told me that baby elk are also known as calves).  
We ended up seeing elk A LOT - don't worry Mommabomma, we kept our distance and used the zoom :)

Day #4 - Relaxing

  • We had pancakes for breakfast!  So grateful for our Coleman 2 burner stove - we love to cook over gas.  Ian was awesome and made the pancakes and coffee while I went for a 5 mile run
  • Spent a good amount of our day reading and relaxing in our hammock
  • Watched the sunset over the Grand Canyon - so beautiful and breath-taking

Day #5 - Surprising

  • Greeted the morning by running 3 more miles of the South Rim Trail.
  • Completed the mundane task of laundry - as I was going to put our clean clothes in the tent, I screamed and jumped on the picnic table - there was something in our tent! It ended up being a squirrel. (#anticlimatic) We don't know how he got in, why he would have wanted to get in (we keep all food and scented items in the car), but glad he got out on his own (after my scream).  From that point on, I made Ian check the tent first
  • Hiked part of the way down into the Canyon to OohAhh Point (and sang camp songs including the word OhAh).  Saw a ridiculously long snake.  The Canyon is so gorgeous from within.
  • Attended the Grand Canyon Star Party - how fun!  Amateur astronomers bring their telescopes and set up in a designated parking lot and let you look through their telescopes.  We got to see so many cool things in the night sky - Saturn, Polaris, a double star, (it looks like one star to the naked eye, but is actually two stars) Mars, nebulae, and other interesting things that I did not quite understand what I was looking at

Day #6 - Hiking

  • We hiked 5 miles of the western side of the Rim Trail - we saw mule deer, lizards, and a bajillon ravens.  Two surprisings things - 1.) there are times that you can not see the Grand Canyon at all - you are just hiking through desert forest.  The Canyon is nearby, just not visible and 2.) There are places were the unpaved rim trail gets really, really close to the edge of the Canyon
  • We attended the Star Party again - the night before it was chilly, so we did not make it all they way around (sidenote: it would get into the mid to high 80s during the day and then drop into the upper 30s/low 40s at night - thanks to being at 7000 ft above sea water - I love high desert summers)

Day #7 - Flagstaff

  • Ventured into Flagstaff to go on a date and ended up at Chiptole (it was what I was craving at the moment) 
  • Organized and partially packed the car
  • Hiked the last section of the Rim Trail while watching the sunset.  Saw someone get proposed to:)
My feet on the way back from Flagstaff

Day #8 - Homeward Bound

  • Woke up before the sun, finished packing, and started on our 11.5 hour drive.  We got a PR while driving home - we drove from Tuba City, AZ to South Fork, CO without stopping - that is 5 hours and 45 minutes - wootwoot!

And now presenting: The Grand Canyon 2014 Video - all the good footage is Ian's and all the woobly, fast, weird footage was taken by yours truly:

Here is the link in case the video is weird

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