The drive out to the grand canyon was pretty bleak for the last half of the drive the first half we were driving on this mountain road with trees all around us then about an hour on that road we started to descend and suddenly we were in a beautiful mountain meadow with only a couple houses scattered about. (we were on the Indian reservation) and I just thought “this is so peaceful.” With some cows in the distance grazing it was a sight to behold. Then a few moments later we smelled smoke and thought, “What!? Smoke!” Then we realized that it was probably prescribed burning to protect from even bigger fires.
When we got to the canyon we could not go to the visitors center because it was closed so we had to go to this bookstore that was open to get our junior ranger books.
[Mom edit: The parking lot was packed and we were worried we wouldn’t be able to find a spot to park, but then we found two spots right next to each other! So we said, as Andrew’s parents have been known to (jokingly) say when hitting a string of green lights or stumbling upon the perfect parking spot, “Must be living right!”]
After getting the books we went to this overlook and it was so cool. I get why they call it the grand canyon. That thing was huge!
Here we are working on our Junior Ranger booklets:
After finishing the booklet we went back to the bookstore and got the badge. I think that one was my 12th badge, which is a lot of badges (by the end of the trip I had 19 badges; I still need to get to 485 of them though). By the way, we went over to a stamping station in the bookstore and all of us picked up our badges. After stamping them we went back outside to talk a bit when Zoë realized that she did not have her badge, so Mom and Zoë rushed back in and got the badge back. No sweat.
Remember that overlook we went to? Well, on that overlook we saw people in the distance on a overlook with no railings!
After we saw that overlook Grandpa, Rachel, and Miriam left the main group to do their own thing, but then I saw them walking towards that overlook. My dad then said, “Everyone, let’s go and find the girls and Grandpa!” So we did and they were on the higher (and the safer part). Then Dad took a picture of me, Rachel, and Miriam with the canyon behind us.
[Mom edit: And with good reason! There were so many placed to just slip off on a mile-long fall and...no thank you to that!]
Here we all are on the ledge together:
After that Dad said, “Ben, follow me.”
So I did and we went down to the lower, more dangerous part of the overlook and the view was just grand (did you get my joke?).
[Mom edit: That joke was about as good as all the jokes we made about Carlsbad Caverns being more like Carlsgood Caverns.]
Here's me and Dad descending down the canyon on our adventure!
After like a couple minutes on the overlook Dad took a picture of me and we started heading back.
On the way back I slipped and a couple rocks fell down to the bottom of the canyon and it was terrifying. My life almost flashed before my eyes and then…I stabilized myself and we went the rest of the way up with no problem at all. So all in all that was a remarkable experience that I will remember for probably the rest of my days.
[Mom edit: Here's Benjamin emerging from the trail looking pleased with his adventure:]
After finishing the booklet we went back to the bookstore and got the badge.
I think that one was my 12 badge which is a lot of badges (by the end of the trip i had 19 badges i still need to get to 485 of them thought) well the badge that i got looked so cool it had a wood carved picture of the Grand Canyon with a California condor in the skies above and on the top it proclaimed:
Let me tell you a bit about the Grand Canyon. It has two rims the north and the south. The south rim is probably the most full of tourists with hiking trails all around. The north rim is very isolated; it is more for the danger and adventure type of people. It still has a visitors center so that you could get two Grand Canyon badges, but they look a bit different.
You can also get a Grand Canyon explorer patch that has a glow in the dark scorpion on it! [Mom edit: But you have to do an overnight backcountry stay to earn that one and...we just didn't have time for that. But here's Alexander showing off all his badges!]
The widest part of the canyon is 18 miles wide and two hundred and seventy seven miles long. The park does not even include all of the canyon although the park is a whopping 1904 square miles. The river that created it all was the Colorado River. It flows through seven states. The canyon begins at the Lees Ferry, AZ, and ends at Grand Wash Point, AZ, but the Colorado River is of course way longer. It is 1450 miles long and begins at the Great Rocky Colorado Mountains and ends in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I have never seen it in real life but probably the most mesmerizing place in the grand canyon would be Horseshoe Bend. I have seen it in pictures and in the pictures it just looks beautiful. The bend is on the east rim and I literally have no idea how to get to it but if you do then good for you. One more thing when you reach this park do as I did and leave with a mesmerizing feeling of joy and awe in your hearts and I promise that you will never forget the first time you came to the Grand Canyon National Park.
Where is the Grand Canyon? states that "Bradley...stripped off his clothes and dangled the long underwear down to Powell" and is certainly illustrated in the buff (p. 47–48). The NPS says, "Bradley realized that Powell was in trouble and climbed above Powell, using his pants as a rope to help Powell climb the rest of the way up the cliff."