A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Grand Canyon

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

 The drive from Santa Fe to the Grand Canyon was quite long- about 8 hours until it was all said and done. That was definitely the longest I ever driven in my life! But I hung in there, and obviously, it was very exciting when we arrived in Grand Canyon Village!

(Did I mention how New Mexico drivers are the BEST? And drivers in Arizona who are East of the canyon are great. West of the canyon and into California... holy hell! I will get to those drivers later... But YAY NEW MEXICO!)

The funny thing was, once we parked, we didn't know how to get to the rim! We tried to not look stupid, but I did have to get out my map and someone had to point us in the right direction. Can you imagine going up to someone in Grand Canyon National Park and asking, "Where is the Grand Canyon?"

It was a quiet, beautiful walk to the rim. I thought it would be very crowded, but it was not. We were all alone.

And then suddenly.... there was THIS....

Extremely breathtaking. I am sure many of you have been to the Grand Canyon and remember that first feeling when you see it. It doesn't even look real.

Obviously I don't have a great camera and am not skilled at picture taking, but it is almost impossible to take a bad picture of the canyon!

We spent around 4 hours exploring the Rim Trail. It was not crowded at all and everyone was very quiet. It was like everyone was respecting the majesty around us. I liked it.

I did enjoy reading the placards they had along the trail and learning about the Native American tribes that used to live in the canyon. I was also mesmerized about how old the canyon was, and how you could actually see the different layers of rocks from every several hundred thousand years.

A very nice photographer took our picture.

My hunny!

His hunny!
Can you tell I am very committed to the visor look by now????)

 Parts of the Rim Trail go right beside the freaking canyon. On the other side of those stones is a "Goner Spot", as Paul would call it. There were several spots like that... and several STUPID people getting way too close to the edge.

We found a bench all to ourselves and watched the sunset... so gorgeous!

After the sunset, we went back to the Yavapai Lodge for the night. It is a very nice place and one of the more economical choices as far as hotels go in the village. I definitely recommend it! The only downside is... no wifi. However, we were only staying one night, so there was no reason for us to spend time on our computer!

The next morning we got up bright and early (Thank goodness because there was a heat advisory!) and walked/ran on the Rim Trail. Paul walked, and I ran ahead.

I was so excited to come across the trailhead of Bright Angel! This is one of the most popular trails for entering the canyon. It is a series of switchbacks 7.8 miles long (ONE WAY). Hiking down and up in one day would be a LARGE feat, and one would have to be extremely prepared to do so- and start EARLY in the hot summer months. It gets really freaking hot in the canyon- usually 100-120 degrees! And apparently there is almost no shade.

The beginning of the trail... oh how I wanted to go down! But it looked scary, too! Some people I saw walking down clearly weren't going the entire way. At least, I hoped they weren't. Many people only had one bottle of water. My guess is they were going to go down a little ways and then turn back up.

The Bright Angel Trail looks TINY from far away... like a little line traced in the trees. This picture was taken VERY far away and I zoomed in.

Wow, talk about checking something off my bucket list!

Running was still HARD here! I didn't realize how high the elevation was at the South Rim- over 6,000 feet! I felt really out of shape this entire trip!

This book is FASCINATING! I am learning a lot about how people die at the Grand Canyon. Falls from the rim, falls from within the canyon, dehydration, drownings, suicides... I am learning a lot about the dangers of the canyon and what it takes to hike within it! The main thing I learned so far is that there are no NEW accidents, just the same old accidents happening to different people. Like not taking enough water, "scrambling" or taking trail shortcuts on areas that look sketchy... posing for pictures right on the edge (which we saw people doing... hell we saw people CLIMBING DOWN ONTO LEDGES)... things like that.

Our trip to the Canyon was perfect. We weren't even there a day, but we were able to spend quite a few hours down at the rim. Besides eating and sleeping, that's where we were! Paul and I discussed it, and if we had stayed longer, we would have wanted to do something BIG. Obviously, I kept eyeing those people going to the Bright Angel Trail and though... "Hmmmmm... maybe someday...."
Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?

Would you ever do a rim to rim hike? Ride a mule down? Do a helicopter ride? Whitewater raft in the Colorado River?

Where is your favorite place to watch the sun set?


  1. We hiked down the rim a bit (I think we went around april one year) and it was cool at the top but quickly got very hot. I laughed when I saw that book at the gift shop too. No need to tell me to take the grand canyon more serious. I don't think I'd want to ride a mule down to the bottom. I'd take a heli ride though!

    1. I would not want to ride a mule either. I think I'd feel too out of control. Same for the heli ride too. But that is just me being a baby. Paul would love to do a heli ride and if we ever go again, we're going to make sure he gets to do that.

  2. I LOVE that the GC can't be done justice I'm pics. People who haven't seen it don't get what's so great about a huge hole in the earth, but it's seriously awesome (in the real sense of the word...awe-some!) to see in person.

    It's crazy that people still manage to die in the GC, though. Haven't they learned from the mistakes of others?!

    1. I think a lot of people are very unprepared. So far, I have only read 3 complete chapter- 1. Falls from the rim. 2. Falls from within the canyon. 3. Environmental deaths. (Aka dehydration, cardiac arrest from overexertion, or hypothermia...not many hypothermias, though!) I am currently reading the chapter on FLASH FLOODS, which apparently happen in certain parts of the canyon. One interesting thing I read that I think you will appreciate... A lot of times, people that suffer from heat stroke are athletes because they don't take their time and their body is used to pushing, etc. By the time they cross the line, there is no turning back. Whereas people who are not athletes naturally pace themselves slower.

  3. Incredible pictures!! Doing Rim 2 Rim is on my bucket list. Helly on The Run did R2R2R last year and it sounded like quite an experience! I'm not sure I could do that, but R2R sounds like an adventure.

    How crazy that people don't respect the dangerous aspect of the ledges. I get being a dare devil or wanting to take a cool picture, but if you fall and die that's going to kind of ruin the rest of the trip for your family!

    1. Haha indeed! I kept saying to Paul, the canyon is so HUGE, who cares if you are just 3 feet closer to it than the people who are careful and don't want to stand on a rock right on the edge.

      I will have to go read Helly on The Run's R2R2R recap!

      If you ever do R2R and want a hiking buddy, let me know!!!!! :)

  4. Amazing! The Grand Canyon is def on my bucket list! And no I will not be posing for any photos near the ledge?!?