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3.21.2016

Mini Vacation - The Grand Canyon, Part 1

Over Madeleine's Spring Break, we decided to take a couple of days off and finally see the Grand Canyon! We drove to the South Rim of the Canyon on St. Patrick's day - taking a slightly longer route that allowed us to see a couple of other sights along the way.

The first stop was the Little Colorado River Gorge.
The gorge is on Navajo land, so there was a small donation requested to get into the viewpoint area. The depth of this thing was insane, and pictures do not do it justice.
Just to give you an idea of what we were seeing...this rail is right at the cliff edge, then it's a 3000 foot drop straight down. Needless to say we were holding onto the kids for dear life.
It was on to the Grand Canyon after that. We hit the Desert View Watchtower viewpoint at lunchtime, sat at the picnic tables and ate a packed lunch we had brought with us from home; then finally got our first views of the Canyon! It did not disappoint.
We climbed to the top of the Watchtower for some more amazing views.
Next up, we decided to check out our hotel. We stayed at Maswik Lodge, which is in the Grand Canyon Village. We were lucky to get a room inside the park (they book up really far in advance), so we thankfully didn't have to worry about entering and leaving the park every time we needed to go back to the hotel. I really enjoyed Maswik Lodge. It's a little rustic, but so are all the hotels in the park (they're all pretty old). It's really conveniently located and had a decent enough cafeteria style restaurant on the premises. We ended up eating all our meals there except for one breakfast. Honestly, my only complaint was their pillows. I would have slept much better if I had remembered to bring my own.

After settling in, we headed to the Visitor's Center. We wanted the kids to participate in the Junior Rangers program, so we picked up their activity books and listened to a Park Ranger Program where we learned all about the Javelina (hey, remember when I ran into a couple here).

After a yummy pizza dinner at the hotel, we decided to try and catch the sunset along the canyon. We headed west along the Bright Angel Trailhead. It was paved, which allowed us to use the stroller for Seamus, but it was also mostly up hill. Ugh. There was also no railing, but the trail was bordered by rocks and had a few feet on the outer side before it eventually dropped off. We found a nice and private little viewpoint and enjoyed the view for a while - just the four of us.
By the time we got back to the hotel, it was after 7pm. We got the kiddos in their pj's and watched a bit of TV. Bill and I had loaded our iPads up with movies to watch after the kids went to bed, but we were both too exhausted. So, instead we all crashed for the night shortly after 8pm.
It was a pretty fun day, and I couldn't wait to explore more the next day. Stay tuned!

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