August 2, 2011 in Minimalist Summer Vacation 2011
I woke up sore this morning. A good sore. The kids were crabby, like they might be tired, but still were running around everywhere… so they couldn’t have been that sore.
Today was the last full day of vacation. Tomorrow we start the drive back. (driving for 3 days).
We did the more touristy stuff along the rim today. First priority for the kids was finishing their junior ranger badges by going to a ranger program about birds. Ian was so proud. At Yellowstone he wasn’t old enough to do the program, but they let him do it here. He put his badge on his sleeve, like the real rangers, and showed and told everyone he could find that he was a ’junior ranger’. He even wanted to be addressed as ’Junior Ranger’ instead of Ian. Such a nut!
After walking the rim and riding all around I can say that the rim is nothing compared to hiking down in. Hiking in is hard, and dangerous, but from the rim the canyon is just too huge. To look at the canyon from the rim just looks like a picture. It is huge and nothing can be seen very well. Sure it is awesome, but so are pictures of the canyon. Hiking in gets you right by the walls, and over the edges of the different layers. You can touch the rock, feel the elevation change and see the completely different ecosystem at the bottom. … I have to say all day I just wanted to hike back down in again.
I definitely want to come back again. Next time we will plan on a much longer trip into the canyon. The rest days I want to spend will be at the bottom and not at the top. The top is full of people, souvenirs, and bad expensive food.
Speaking of people, it is so fun to see all the different people and where they come from. We have met lots from all over Europe, especially Germany and several from Asia. On the trail there were lots of people that, if I tried to say anything but ‘hi’, I just got a blank stare. I love language and culture, I can’t travel everywhere, but meeting people from all over the world is the next best thing.
This is definitely an area that I would love to live near. Not sure when or how, but I want to come back.
They needed and adult volunteer for the Bald Eagle wings. The kids wanted Bryon, naturally, because he is bald He was supposed to put them on, but I got “no, you are just going to take a picture and put it on your blog” . … so I had to post this pic just for him.
The defining moment in Ian’s short life. He couldn’t have been more proud.
Walking along the rim there is lots of information and rock displays that they kids had lots of fun with.
Ian sporting his new badge.
This is the far west edge of the park (accessible by roads). There is a great trail that goes down to an old hiking camp and the bottom of the canyon from here that looks fun as well. Not maintained and we have to bring a water filter.. sounds like fun!