Well, I'm a little behind on posting about vacation. But, better late than never huh? We decided to take a trip to the Grand Canyon and New Mexico over fall break. It was a much needed vacation and I loved it!!!
Saturday morning we got up early and headed out. We got to the Grand Canyon about 3pm. This is the entrance gate to the Grand Canyon.As we were driving into the park we saw a deer eating grass along side of the road.
Then we got our first view of the canyon, which was an amazing sight.
We took a ton of pictures of the canyon during the 3 days we spent there. Sunday we got up early and decided to go to church a small Catholic chapel on park grounds. As we were driving around looking for the chapel we saw4-5 large elk walking across a parking lot as if it was the most normal thing in the world. A little farther down the road we saw 2 more walkng through another parking lot. I had never seen an elk up close in the wild. They are rather amazing creatures.
After church we went for a short hike on the rim trail near our hotel. We were looking for fossils, because one of the rangers had told us that just off the trail there was a rock ledge with a lot of fossils. We didn't find the fossils because I was leary about getting too far off trail. We ended up walking to a shuttle stop and caught the shuttle up to a few more overlooks, and then back down to near our hotel. We ate an early supper and went to bed around 8p.
Monday we got up about 6am and headed out to tackle the Bright Angel Trail. This is one of the most popular trails in the park, and is the one that leads all the way down to the Colorado river. It is also the one that the mule trains use to take people to the bottom of the canyon. We decided that we were going to do a short portion of the trail and only go to the "mile and a half" rest house. (That means 3 miles round trip). I was very nervous about this hike because I am terrifed of heights and there are no guardrails along the trail. I kept dreaming about falling down the side of the canyon while I was sleeping Sunday night.
These two pictures show the view from the trail, and the second one shows part of the trail itself. I am really glad that I went on the hike because there were some amazing views and great geology. Having said that, I don't desire to ever hike this trail again...don't think my heart could take another hike like that...talk about facing your fears!!!
On our way back up from the rest house we were taking a rest and looked up the trail and saw a mule train coming down.
We ended up seeing several of these mule groups on the way up, which was nice because it gave us a chance to take a break. Going up was MUCH rougher than going down. When we were just about back up to the top...about a half mile away or so...we saw a bunch of people standing on the trail and wondered what they were up to. As we got nearer we heard them saying that there was big horn sheep up ahead. I looked up and saw one on the hill. That got me moving faster because I wanted to get close enough to get a picture before people scared it away. When we got closer I saw that there were actually several big horn sheep on the cliff above the trail. They blended in really well so they were hard to see from a distance. Here's a good picture of one of them:
After taking pictures for a while, we headed up the rest of the trail and finished our hike in a little under 4 hours. Don't we look happy.
We went back to the hotel and took a short nap and then went back to the rim trail to find the fossils again, but it was getting dark so again we had no luck!!! We ate supper and were in bed by 7:30p.
On Tuesday we were all a little sore from our hike so we decided to drive to one of the gift shops to look for a tshirt for me. I wanted one that said "I hiked the Grand Canyon!" I ended up getting one that said "Bright Angel Trail" on the front and had a map of the trail on the back. When we were driving around we saw more deer. One by the side of the road, and a whole family of deer crossing the road in front of us.
On Wednesday we got up early and headed to New Mexico for a visit with Ben's brother Michael. I'll do another post about our sightseeing on the way to New Mexico.