04 December 2013

A grand canyon adventure

The one part of our Arizona adventure I didn’t recount yesterday... well, let’s say it was grand.

And... shaped like a canyon.

Did you guess it yet?

Or do you need a few more photos to help you out?

Yes! We did drive up to the Grand Canyon! You are so good at hints.

Mr. P’s family drove to the Grand Canyon when the kids were, well, kids, so Mr. P and his sister had seen it before. But I hadn’t, not even when we visited Arizona a few years ago, and neither had Mr. P’s brother-in-law. I reasoned that if we were going to spend so much money on plane tickets to Arizona, we might as well drive that extra few hours to see one of the natural wonders of the world! (Hey, that’d make two in one year!)

So Mr. P, his sister, her husband, and I all bundled up for the high elevation and set out for a road trip to the canyon early on the day after Thanksgiving.

As it turned out, the drive became even longer because the interstate was closed, so we had to go out of our way on a side highway instead. But even the extended drive turned out to be pretty amazing because of the lovely views. It was so strange to go from flat, sandy desert to snowy peaks in a matter of hours.

Because we were delayed by the detour for a few hours, we apparently missed a rare temperature inversion and the resulting fog in the canyon that happened that morning. I didn’t even know until days later that we’d missed it, and that it wasn’t normal to see the wisps of clouds and fog in the canyon.

For the most part, we hiked along the south rim at the top of the canyon and, of course, took a bazillion photos. At least, I did.

It was super chilly – my Southern roots would say it was downright COLD – but we still managed to picnic outside on the canyon rim.

What’d we have for lunch? Sandwiches made with leftover turkey, of course.

Although most of our hike was around the rim, we did venture a short way down into the canyon.

And we only had one case of someone falling in!

Ha. Just kidding! Although there were plenty of crazies around climbing out onto ledges where they should not be, particularly with their small children. We were not such daredevils. But good to know Mr. P is willing to save his little sister from falling into the canyon if needed.

The whole time I was there, I was mentally trying to grapple with the enormity of the canyon – both the physical size and the time it took to form. I tried framing it in terms of distance that I know (“from here to the north rim is the same distance as our apartment to Mr. P’s school!”) and studying the timelines and dioramas in the geology museum.

I left still not really comprehending the size, or how that tiny little river down there...

...was capable of making that whole canyon. I couldn’t understand before I went, and I definitely can’t understand it now. Mostly I just stood on the canyon rim saying, “This is nuts. This is nuts!”

And that firsthand experience of incomprehension... well, that’s what made it totally worth going! A family roadtrip to remember, for sure.


Rachee-O said...

These photos are just awesome! Visiting from the little sunny island of Singapore! I have been to Grand Canyon about 23 years ago and I just love the internet...get to "visit" again!