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3.23.2016

Mini Vacation - The Grand Canyon, Part 2

On Friday, we were up and out by 8am. We ate breakfast at the Bright Angel Lodge, then headed over to the Visitor's Center to see about renting some bikes from Bright Angel Bicycles. They didn't have a Burley trailer available for Seamus though; but said one was expected back by the afternoon, and they would call us when it was returned.

So, we decided to take a walk heading East along the canyon instead. As you can see, there was a paved trail mostly bordered by rocks and boulders, but not much else between you and the Canyon. By this point though, we had Madeleine trained to stay on the path. I may or may not have told her that she could fall into the Canyon and die if she went off the path.
Bill carried Seamus on his back, and we had the stroller too in case Madeleine got tired (which she did). Oh, and Seamus continuously kept saying he wanted to go back to "Mommy's hotel."
I was getting pretty tired too, but come on, look at this place!
We did end up going back to the hotel to eat lunch, and then we got the call from the bike place that the Burley trailer was back. So, our next adventure was biking!
Bill towed Seamus in the Burley trailer, and Madeleine had a Tag Along bike that hooked onto the back of my bike. It allowed her to ride and pedal, but I was the one doing all the work. We headed off, and almost instantly ran into a herd of Elk! It was so cool watching them in nature being all Elk-like. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me.
Our bike ride was ambitious (for me at least) - a 20 mile round trip ride to Hermit's Rest, the farthest West point of the South Rim of the Canyon, and back again. The problem was, the starting point and ending point were both uphill! (And also, I'm horribly out of shape) So, I cruised from the starting point down through the village, but the climb up to Hermit's Rest was awful. We ended up making it only to Hopi Point before deciding to turn around. We weren't sure if we would be able to get the bikes back by 5pm if we kept going. It was still quite a sight from this viewpoint though.  
After the ride, I hurt everywhere, but was able to hobble along the rest of the day. The kids completed their Junior Ranger activity book. They were sworn in by a Park Ranger at the Visitor's Center and received a badge they could pin on their shirts. We checked out the gift shop, picked up a few souvenirs, and headed back to the hotel to clean up and have dinner. Again, we collapsed into bed by 8pm completely exhausted.

The next morning we hit the road after breakfast and rolled back into Phoenix around noon. It was so nice to spend a few days together as a family, just being outside and exploring nature. The Grand Canyon is really gorgeous, and I can't wait to go back again! As the kids get older there will only be more and more things we can do there. It's pretty cool to live so close to something this awesome.

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