A southwest journey to find True North – Grand Canyon, Day 4

Its starting to feel like we actually know how to make and break camp.  Guess that means we should get ready for our only night in a hotel!  But first we gotta earn it.  With our SUV’s stuffed to the brim and a quick general store and gas stop, we set out for a hidden gem among the trip favorites.  ROAD TRIP!

1064545_10101097159230905_493819063_o Certain that girls still had cooties we decided to keep our boys only car and let the girls mmm bop all they wanted.  All of the road trip essentials were with us: snacks, music, cell phone chargers and great people!  It took about 3 hours to get to Grand Canyon National Park and when we entered it wasn’t quite what we expected.

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We drove through a series of woodlands and prairies to reach the Grand Canyon.  Along the way we saw a herd of buffalo, coyote and tons of trees.  Perhaps we were in the wrong park?  We knew the North Rim wasn’t as “scenic” as the south rim but there should be a canyon in here somewhere.  Right?  As you’re driving through miles of forest you keep hoping to catch a glimpse of the expansive canyon around the next turn or through the trees.  Then, all of the sudden there it is!

04-_DSC0994You’re thinking, yeah its gonna be big and then woah!  This thing is HUGE!  We’re talking over 200 miles long, nearly a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide.  You get to a viewpoint you realize you’re looking at a fraction of the whole canyon.  Its immediately grander than the Red Canyon and while perhaps not as spectacular as the hoodoos in Bryce you immediately understand why it is one of the natural wonders of the world.

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23-_DSC0106After arriving at the visitors center we quickly located the bar (of course) and planned our day over lunch.  There are any number of day hikes along the North Rim and we decided to drive along the rim stopping at a few.  At the first of these lookouts you can even see the magnificent Colorado River, responsible for millions of years of erosion that created this immense spectacle.

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At the Grand Canyon, and other parks there are various cliff faces that could prove fatal to the unaware traveler.  Some parks put up signs and even fences to keep smucks from becoming canyon art until the next heavy rain.  But really, who listens to those warnings?

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20-_DSC0082 So maybe we didn’t follow all the rules.  But we got some great shots; especially from near the edge.  Don’t forget to pose as a group of “hyper bears!”  We didn’t plan for the ranger to bring a tour group by as we were ready to go back.  Inadvertent suntan and quiet time!

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On our way out we discovered that natural sap from these trees tastes awful; not to mention the great rock formations and cacti in addition to the gorgeous views!

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We finished with one last hike out of the visitors center and a few quick climbs before the most majestic view I’ve enjoyed with a brew.  We sampled the Grand Canyon local beers then promptly headed out.  Time to enjoy a date with the hot tub at the first hotel we could get in Utah.  Tomorrow we set out for over 20 miles of backpacking in Zion!

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Check out day 3 here!

Check out day 5 here!

One thought on “A southwest journey to find True North – Grand Canyon, Day 4

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Favorite Travel Photos of 2013 #6 | Live, Learn, Travel, Teach

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