One of the reasons I started this blog was to show people that you can do/achieve anything, no matter your income or social standing. My “DONE” series features Bucket List items I’ve done/achieved. They may vary in size and importance but the message I always want readers to leave with is that they too can achieve their dreams.
It’s been awhile since I posted about completing something on my life list so I thought I would post about our 2012 trip to the Grand Canyon. It was the first stop on our first family road trip. Let me tell you, as someone who likes going camping, the Grand Canyon is the best place I’ve ever camped. Not only is it beautiful, it’s cheap! The campsite was just $19 a night. Not bad, right? And the entrance fees weren’t bad either.
We left early in the morning, packed to the gills. Mapquest had predicted that the drive would be eight hours. If we hadn’t left at four in the morning, I think they might have been right, but with three stops we made it there in a little over seven hours.
Looking for signs we were getting closer became a game and you wouldn’t believe the excitement that erupted in the car when we spotted the Arizona state sign. Maybe the excitement was just me but hey, someone has to set the tone.
The 50 mile road from the highway to the entrance was the longest road ever! It’s also the last chance to get a Starbucks if you are an addict like myself.
We finally made it! Once we were inside the gate, I just wanted to find our campsite and get set up. I tried not looking around too much, in fear that I might spot my first glimpse. I wanted us all to see it at the same time.
We arrived at our campsite and checked in. Being that it was Labor Day weekend, I was very surprised that the park wasn’t full.
The campsites are rather big too. Our sight could have easily had three tents and still plenty of room for kids to play around.
After the tent was up, I spotted this guy. With Pres in tow, I walked closer and closer thinking it was a statue. Good thing homeboy moved before I got any closer. We made a beeline back to the campsite where I told The Boof about the sighting and he decided to tell me that they charge at people. Thanks for the heads up, buddy!
When our tent was finally up, we made our way the ridge. The following picture doesn’t do it any justice. Seeing the Grand Canyon in person is absolutely breathtaking. There is no end to the canyon in sight and to think it’s a natural wonder, it really earns the status.
Looking to the bottom is a little scary. My butt got weak. (FYI, I carry all of my tension in my butt. I know, TMI.) Next time we go back, I’d really like to go to the bottom. I have a feeling the enormity of it will be completely different from the bottom.
The second day we were there it rained. Nothing too bad but I did get a cool picture of the rain curtain.
As we toured the South Rim, we came across this beauty. It’s a hotel that sits right on the rim of the canyon. You may have heard of it, El Tovar Hotel. It has a huge front porch and a number of rooms that face the canyon. One day, I’d love to come back and spend the night there. I’m sure the rooms cost an arm and a leg.
And there’s a train!
We also stumbled upon this enchanting cemetery. I wish I would have known about it before we went so I could have researched who is buried there and how they are allowed to be buried in a National Park. When we got home I was able to look it up and find out that Pioneer Cemetery is the final resting place for residents of the canyon. There are a number of other interesting facts that I learned but I won’t bore you with that.
The morning we were packing up to head to our next stop, this guy trotted through our campsite. He is much more intimidating close up.
For anyone that is thinking of visiting the Grand Canyon, I strongly recommend staying for at least three days. We only stayed two days and there was so much more that I wanted to do. At least it is just an eight hour car ride away. I can’t wait to go back!