Friday, May 1, 2009

Westward Ho! Getting Close

Hey guys,

I promised a blog from the road, and here is the first. Sorry I haven’t posted one yet, but every day has been so full that by the time I finally hit the hotel at night, I am pretty tired. We (my dad Larry, his wife Debra, my cousin Shirley, and myself) have been going five full days, and now we are in Page, Arizona, right outside of the Navajo Nation.

Today was definitely my favorite as far as the scenery. New Mexico was amazing yesterday, and I was skeptical that today could top it, even though I knew I would be seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time today. Well, let me just say that northern Arizona must be one of the most beautiful places on God's earth! The Grand Canyon is beyond words, and I'm sure, beyond these pictures, but I will post them anyway.

Unfortunately I am bad with heights, so I could not venture more than about 5 steps down the trail. I looked at the loose pebbles and my little tennis shoes and the trail with no rails or borders between myself and a mile drop, and decided I could enjoy it just fine from Southern Rim. And that's what I did. We could not even see the bottom from where I was, and time was short, so we didn't get to hike around the rim to where we could. Well, that means I will just have to go back one day and see the Colorado River from some optimal point at the rim or at the bottom. I hope there is some way down for chickens, though.

I also got to see the sweet mules after they reached the top. They had walked 6 miles down a trail (not to the bottom- just to a plateau) and 6 miles up that same day. They looked so exhausted, poor things! They were lined up at a rail, and some of them were resting their heads on it, and others were closing their eyes ready to sleep. But they did look well taken care of. The guy who appeared to be their caretaker was raving about what wonderful animals they were, and they were so tame. We could also see their corral, and they looked pretty comfy. I just walked up and started stroking one's nose, and he was just as calm as could be.

And the drive from the Grand Canyon to Page, Arizona, where we were scheduled to spend the night, was almost as amazing as the canyon itself. The 80 or so mile drive was largely vast, flat, canyon lands to the left (south?) and a huge, unbelievable ridge of great, red, mountainous cliffs over to our right, maybe a 1/4 mile away, at first. All that land we drove across was Navajo Nation land. Basically, the upper right quadrant of Arizona belongs to the Navajos. It was an enlightening experience, and I hope to elaborate on it soon. For now, though, let me get back to this drive to Page.

We took a turn and there before us was the wall of red cliff that before had been off to our right. Now it looked as if we were heading directly into it. And we began to climb. Huge boulders were off to either side at times, right above our heads, seeming that they could fall at any time and squish us, and the signs reading "Watch for Rocks" were no help. Of course we were watching for rocks, but I'm not sure what we were supposed to do if one fell on us. And then we would turn a corner and be blown away by a vista of the land thousands of feet below, displaying various canyons of their own.This is my meager attempt to describe what, so far, has been the best day of the trip. Please stay tuned, and thanks for hanging in!


  1. I can tell we're related. I took about two steps down that trail when I went to the Grand Canyon and said, nope! Not for me. Dave, on the other hand, has hiked it all the way to the bottom and back up.

    Since you're a fellow Star Wars fan, I have to ask--didn't you think some of the scenery looked just like Tatooine? I expected to see Sand People come charging out at me any time!

  2. How exciting! SOunds like your having quite the adventure :) Keep posting pics and having fun!!!

  3. What a fun road trip! And yes, the scenery you've been through is beautiful, but just wait until you go to Yosemite! You're really in for a treat!

  4. Sounds lovely, Kristi! A fun adventure, for sure.

  5. Theresa SchambachMay 2, 2009 at 6:53 PM

    Wow, such great pictures! Looks like you have had an amazing journey so far... and so much more to come :)