Hiking the Grand Canyon

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Our 2nd day in Arizona we got up early and headed out to do more sight-seeing at the Grand Canyon. We decided to hike down the 3 mile trail. That’s 1 and a half down and 1 and a half back up. It’s barely half way down in this canyon.

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This was the view as we started down. We brought plenty of water and snacks (apples, nuts and granola bars).

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A little farther down it started to feel like we were getting into the canyon. The scary thing was as we were quickly walking down, people were on their way back up and they looked rough. Everyone looked exhausted and hot. I was thinking “That’s going to be us soon.”

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A little ways down, you can see Jerry across the canyon in the blue tshirt. He was taking pictures of us taking pictures of him.

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After an hour, you can see the trail we have still have to wind down. Someone at the beginning of the trail had told me to take lots of pictures going down because you won’t feel like it going back up. Boy, were they right.

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Still going down.

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Hubby, Beth and Jerry where ahead of me  most of the time since I kept stopping to take pictures. Here they are down the trail.

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Some parts were really narrow. No railing. I can’t even image riding a donkey down this trail. We didn’t see any on trail the day we were there.

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Under one of the rock formations.

Hubby and I made it almost all the way down. We turned around right before the end and started heading back up. By then my knees were so wobbly and shaky. Going up was hard. It was a steep incline on the bottom half of the trail. We’d stop every 10 minutes and rest and drink water. As people passed us on the way down they would give us that “Am I going to look like that coming back up?” look. We did the same thing going down. There was a constant stream of people going up and down.  After resting a while when we got back up to the top I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be. We walked around the area, looking around the hotel and shops at the top of the rim. Later in the day we got back in the car and headed for Sedona.

Sunset at the Grand Canyon – Skywatch Friday

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Our first day at the Grand Canyon and we had to stay for sunset. Right before dark we made our way down to the last look out point at the south rim, Hermit’s Point. The sun going down on the canyon was beautiful even though it created a lot of shadows.

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This time of the year the sun goes down far to the left so it was not as perfect as I had wanted.

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I struggled to get the canyon visible in the sunset shot. You can just barely see the Colorado river to the right. It’s weird how perfectly flat the top of the grand canyon looks. It’s like someone took a ruler and cut it off flat on the top. (Yes, I do know who that someone is.)

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Everyone getting that last shot. That’s Beth in the white sweater on the left, focusing to get the perfect shot.

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Almost down.

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A teeny bit more to go.

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Only a sliver left. Once it was dark, we hopped back on the shuttle bus back to the parking lot. I climbed in the back seat of our rental car and was going to try to take a nap on the way back to Flagstaff. The road was bumpy so I barely dozed. I had been on two planes early that morning to get there so I was tired but used up every second of daylight at the canyon. About a half an hour back to Flagstaff I felt the car come to a stop. It was after 9:30 at this point. I opened my eyes and looked up and saw a large elk with beautiful antlers slowly walking across the two lane road. He stopped for a second and looked at the car. No one else was on the road.  We all sat there silently for a few seconds as he walked across and then he darted into the woods on the other side. I broke the silence by saying “Did I just dream that?” It was quite a moment. Hubby was like “Where’s your camera? Why didn’t you take a picture?” It was already packed up for the night and the elk was gone so fast. It was kind of nice to just enjoy the moment on our first night in Arizona.

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My first glimpse of the Grand Canyon – Skywatch Friday

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We flew into Flagstaff and after dumping our stuff at the hotel, we headed for the Grand Canyon. This was our view along the way.

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Lots of small farms in the middle of nowhere. Although, we were only a half hour outside of Flagstaff so it’s not that remote. The scenery on the drive over was beautiful. Lots of forest, mountains and tumbleweeds.

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Peaking over the edge, this was my first glimpse.

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It was breathtaking!

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Scraggly dead trees were everywhere. They looked like trees you would see in a haunted movie.

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We walked for a while. Looking over the rim at each point.

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Of course, late in the afternoon, the sun was coming in hard. There were shadows everywhere and the colors across the canyon looked washed out.

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The view back to Flagstaff. We passed a big wind farm.

I’m going to be at risk of boring you with my tons of vacation pictures. Hubby and I took a week off and went to Arizona with some friends near the end of June. It was our first trip to Arizona. Really, my first real vacation out west, excluding many work trips to Las Vegas. We spent two days at the Grand Canyon and two days in Sedona. I took about a billion pictures. Both with my Nikon and my Iphone. I wanted to travel light so I did not take my longer lenses. I only took my 18-105mm and my wide angle lens. This was going to be a landscape only trip, no animals. But I couldn’t resist taking tons of pictures of the birds we saw. All with my 105mm lens. I’ll be posting tons more about our week later but wanted to kick it off on July 4th. Nothing says “Happy 4th of July” like the Grand Canyon.

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