Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

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OH the Grand Canyon!!! How magnificent! How gorgeous!

Driving up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, even once inside of the park, you would have no idea that the canyon lay ahead, not until you are walking up to it, only steps away, and the trees clear and you are suddenly at the edge. What a shocker this must have been to early explorers. Oh, man…can’t get through this way… 🙂

As many pictures as we have seen and as many descriptions from friends and family who have been here, it doesn’t compare to seeing it ourselves. It is wide and deep, and GRAND. Layers and layers of different colors, stacked and swirling, down down and into the far distance. WOW!

This stop has been particularly meaningful to me because the Grand Canyon was something that my Mom had always wanted to see. Even before actually going, she knew it was a place that would speak to her soul and when she was finally able to go, made her so happy. It wasn’t a trip K and I were able to go on, but my Dad and sister and her younger sister and husband from Germany joined her. So it is a place that is not only amazing of its own accord, but in which I am feeling especially close to her. <3

We got our first views of the Grand Canyon along Mather Point:

We hopped the park shuttle and rode along the western branch of the South Rim, hopping on and off to look at various overlooks, and hiking for a ways along the Rim Trail:

From one overlook we saw the Bright Angel Trail that we would hike the next day:

Hiking the Bright Angel Trail down to the rest hut at mile marker 3 and then up up up back to the rim:

Then we drove the Desert View Drive along the eastern branch of the South Rim looking at all of the overlooks and hiked the South Kaibab Trail…oh wait, no…that’s what we wanted to do…that is until the government shutdown and the National Parks were closed. So, we were locked out, how disappointing! We are so grateful though that we arrived in time to see the canyon and some of the park before the shutdown occurred. It would have been awful if we hadn’t at least gotten that chance. So, for now we are spending some rest days catching up on blogs and emails which we’re behind on before moving on.

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