Jonathan and I had been craving a camping trip for some time now, and after tossing around various plans (Yosemite? Yellowstone? Sequoias?) we finally decided on a quick jaunt to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, one of the seven natural wonders of the world – thus allowing me to check off another location on our 501 Places To Visit Before You Die checklist. I love me my checklists. Our friend Nate came along to spend his birthday weekend with us at the Canyon.
While I tend to pride myself on my vacation planning abilities, this weekend was, uh, not well planned. First we forgot it was a holiday weekend. (Oops.) Then, we didn’t check routes till we were halfway there (landslide in the park made us have to backtrack and reroute), we misjudged the cost of gas, and once we arrived at the National Park, we found that Desert View – the first-come first-serve campground we intended to set up at – was full, and we had to drive 15 miles out to Ten-X Campground that LUCKILY had a cancellation and let us set up camp. But all those adventures aside, the trip was a blast!
We were up at 3am to drive to the canyon, grab a vantage point and watch the sunrise. While Jonathan and I had both been to the canyon prior to meeting each other, we’ve concluded that this is THE way to see the Grand Canyon for the first time. We literally watched the canyon unveil. It’s gorgeous. At its widest point, the canyon stretches 18 miles across and is around 6000 feet deep, so in the dim light of the pre-dawn moon, you can only see the cliffs around you faintly – the gap across the canyon and the floor is pitch black. Then as the horizon lightened and the sun rose, the canyon was literally unveiled. It was unreal. It was like watching a literal painting in process.
We spent the morning hopping along vantage points and visiting Native American ruins. When we went to the historic Indian watchtower at Desert View on the South Rim, they were playing the Disneyland Grand Canyon song that plays during the train ride and I was like, “OMG, it’s for real!” (Yes, I get all my real life adventures out by reenacting my childhood make believe sessions from Disneyland..)
We also brought our puppy Thor along with us and he was fantastic. It was the first major trip we brought him along on and he couldn’t have been a better behaved dog. He spent most of his weekend off the leash because he was so well mannered and obedient. I really don’t know what happened to the little terror we’ve spent the last year trying to train! ^_^
So, according to the Grand Canyon National Park Service, the only thing more dangerous than a person hiking the canyon alone, are two men in their 20s hiking together. The majority of people who die by falling over the edge of the canyon are men aged 20-40, and many of the deaths involve guys peeing off the edge. Guess what Jonathan and Nate both did? *sigh*
I don’t really get the appeal of peeing into a giant hole in the ground. What is it? Claiming your territory? Although I do kind of get the bragging rights concept. I mean, I once peed in the original Batman Bat Cave in the Hollywood Hills. In high heels. So there’s that. And for the record, I also peed in the canyon. Well, Tessa started kicking my bladder so I hid behind a bush to go. So it was less peeing in and more peeing on.
Anyhoo, we had a fun weekend of camping and sightseeing. I love creating memories around the world with my handsome husband – and soon our family vacation will include TESSA! I’m so glad we had a chance to do this last minute trip, it will be our last family vacation as a two-some. Jonathan leaves for boot camp in just 7 days.