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Monday, March 28, 2011

Where does the time go?

Sorry for the delay in posts --again-- We have been keeping pretty busy since arriving in Cottonwood.

In my last post I said I would write about our Grand Canyon adventure.  We were there on Thursday March 24th.  We woke up in Williams, had breakfast, packed up and headed to the Park.  Since it was Thursday, I wasn't expecting much traffic, but it was surprisingly busy.   We came up from Williams, through Tusayan and Grand Canyon Village.  We decided to head West to the more popular look out points, and then try to hit up the east portion of the south rim (desert view) afterwards, so we could hopefully see sunset from the watchtower.

We parked near the Bright angel trail head and lodge.  The first views of the canyon are absolutely breath taking.    Its nearly impossible to describe the view.  I immediately was reminded of the Badlands in South Dakota, although the 2 places are not really comparable. For as far as the eye can see, there were, what i want to call mountain peaks, but they were not above us, more like parallel with where we were standing. There were so many colors through out the rocks, stripes of grey and pink and white and red.  Its literally something you just have to experience for yourself, to truly appreciate the beauty.  I almost feel like I'm disgracing the whole area trying to put it into words.  the length of the canyon is about 277 miles, and its up to 18 miles across , and about a mile deep.  At several of the lookouts, you could go to the very edge of the canyon, lean out over the railing and look to the bottom.  It will definitely make your stomach drop, the grand canyon is not for the "afraid of heights" type people, at least not the edges lol.  From the bright angel lodge when you look down into the canyon you can see a trail that snakes back and forth all the way down to the bottom.  They say its a 2 day hike to the bottom.  I think it would take me way longer =)  There is a shuttle that can take you and drop you off at each of the look out points, but the line to get on the shuttle was ridiculous and it was a beautiful day, so we decided to walk to the 1st point, which was the trail view overlook.  From each lookout point the landscape changes and the views get different angles and you can really see just how large it is.  The shuttle didn't actually stop at the trail view overlook, so we were able to enjoy the view alone and soak in the beauty. We walked along the rim trail to the next point, Maricopa Point. This point was extended out much farther than the first point so we were able to have better views to the east, and were able to see some of the more note able rock formations in the canyon such as the San Francisco Peaks.  We decided to stay on the trail and walk to the next point which was Powell point.  The view from here was very similar since they were only about a mile apart.  There was a little "off the path" trail that lead to the very edge of the canyon, with no railings, and no other people, so we hung out here for a bit, to get away from the crowds.  It was at this point we decided to throw snow balls over the edge, they fell FOREVER! it literally made my stomach drop, I couldn't even watch it fall all the way to the bottom!  We continued on walking to the next point, Hopi point which was the first point on the trail that you could actually see the Colorado river winding through the bottom of the canyon.  Here we hopped on the shuttle to Mohave point, where the view of the river is a little better, but still not very visible. There were still a few other points after these, but we decided to head back to the car so we could get to the watch tower by sunset.  The desert view drive is much less crowded, because the shuttle doesn't run down that road, and although we only stopped at 2 of the look outs, I think the views from this end were really cool.  We stopped at the Navajo point, which had an amazing view of the peaks.  The dogs got to get out here and run around, but they didn't seem to impressed...silly dogs =)  Since it was getting close to dusk we wanted to hurry to the next point, Watch tower point.  At this look out is a viewing tower that, after a 85 stair climb, gives you a 360 degree view of the canyon peaks to the west and the painted desert,  to the east.   Unfortunately, the stairs closed about 5 minutes before we got there, so I supposed we will have to save it for next time.  But we got there in time to find a spot and get some (more) awesome pictures.  From this point you can also see the Colorado river very well.  SO, that was our day at the grand canyon.  It was so much fun, and we will definitely try to go back.  Kiley took TONS of pictures, which she posted on her facebook.  

Since then, we drove down Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, which I'm hoping to go back and explore on Tuesday.  We picked a couple, out of the hundreds, of trails we want to try to hike.  I believe were going to try to West fork Trail and the Soldier Pass Arches, Devils Kitchen, and Seven Sacred Pools trail.  We have had a few suggestions, and would LOVE to hike them all, but we can't do everything all at once, so we will have to save a few for next time =) We are also going to try to go to Slide Rock SP the same day.

Friday we just relaxed and hung out together and enjoyed out surroundings here at Dead Horse Ranch SP.  We took a little bike ride and walked around near the river for awhile and then came and hung out with the dogs and sat outside our campsite.  Yesterday we did a ruckus/harley trip to the other side of the park where there were 3 lagoons, with trails around each and little fishing spots and lots of horse back riders.  We took a trail down to the river, where we sat and watched the flowing water, for awhile, then came back to the camper, cooked some steaks, and celebrated Earth hour, by eating dinner by candle light.

Today, we went to this awesome little town nestled up in the mountain, called Jerome.  It was suggested by several people that we visit this town, and I'm so glad we did!  The road quickly leads up into the Mountain, and then weaves its way back and forth up to an adorable little shopping area.  This town is so funky, some of the houses look like they could drop right off the side of the mountain!!!  We first went up to the Jerome winery and bought a bottle of wine and ate lunch, while watching all the people walking from store to store and popping into the bars to listen to a band, or get a quick drink.  After lunch we explored all the little shops.  There was so much to chose from!  There were numerous jewelry store a few funky little clothing stores, several art gallery's, and a entire store dedicated to kaleidescopes!  We were originally "just looking", but after the girl working snapped a quick picture of us through a kaleidescope, we decided to make a spontaneous purchase =)  Here is the picture:
As we were making our purchase we were having random small talk with the sales girl, and our travels, and glass art came up and she suggested we come back to show the owner, who may be interested in picking up some items. So were going to try to get back up there tomorrow, maybe check out the State Park there, and then hopefully go to Palatki and Honanki ruins. It should be a fun day!

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!
JR and Kiley


PowersArtGlass said...

Sounds like a pretty good day!! Hope the shop picks up some of your stuff!

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