Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Grand Canyon

Posted By Alexander

Hiking Grand Canyon was really hot, but really amazing.
While on the way to Grand Canyon I was reflecting on our experience in the Canyon de Chelly. It was so big that I didn’t expect much more out of Grand Canyon. Boy was I wrong. Grand Canyon had it’s own national park just like Yellowstone and the first thing we did when we arrived was head to the main lookout point. It was so deep that the Colorado river was lost in the cracks and folded rock. It was wide enough that the other end of the canyon was faded blue and a little hard to make out clearly. There was a tower where you could look out the windows but I thought it was better to look at outside. It was also really windy.

The one thing you can say about Grand Canyon without a doubt - it is huuuuge.
At this point, we were still part of the 95% of tourists that never go below the rim of the Canyon.
That was our first taste of Grand Canyon and also or last for that day. We went to our hotel and hung out there for the evening. It took us a while to work out dinner and we finally settled on pizza before Katie ate someone.

You had to be careful not to step off the trail on the hike down.
Turns out heights don't really bother me too much.  Dad and Christopher did not like standing here though.
Some of the switchbacks that drop you into the canyon over a short distance.
The next day we went to see the Imax Movie about the canyon. It was really interesting and it talked a lot about explorers and their encounters with Grand Canyon. It also showed a bit about the Natives who used to live in the canyon. The Anasazi or ancient ones in the language of the Navajo. The Movie kept calling the canyon “Grand Canyon” instead of “The Grand Canyon” as I believed it was called, so that is how I am referring to it now, too.

The easy part (going down) was at the start of this hike.
More trail side life.
The next thing we did that day was hike into Grand Canyon. We had already learned that only five percent of all the visitors go below the rim of the canyon and we feel that we went further down than most of the five percent do. We didn’t go all the way down because that is extremely hard to do in a single day but we went some of the way down and then came back up. It’s a really tricky hike because you start out going down and do the difficult part (coming up) afterwards.

We had two backpacks with us and it was my turn to carry it on the way up. Some of us were a little anxious because there were some pretty steep drops next to the trail. They didn’t freak me out much though. Just because you stand in a high place doesn’t mean you’re obliged to jump does it? Anyway I thought the whole trail was a little bit crappy. That’s a joke because the trail was covered in Mule feces. That’s what us hikers get when everyone else picks the Mule tours.

Sharing the trail with these guys meant we had to watch our step.
A real American cowboy.
The views from the trail were amazing and it was a great way to see the canyon in a way that most people don’t. I’m very happy that we got to hike Grand Canyon.

This spot was where we turned around and went back up.  It is called Cedar Ridge.
The views were amazing.
Heading back up was the hard part.
The trail dropped off to the side pretty steeply in places.
I’m also supposed to talk about Monument valley. I found it underwhelming.There were lot’s of tall rocks sure, but we saw some much cooler ones beside the road on our way to monument valley. After the big ones we saw the others seemed less amazing in comparison. To end things on a high note though, we left the Grand Canyon and now we’re heading to Las Vegas!

Monument Valley has been in a bunch of old Western movies.

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