Monday, June 28, 2010

It's just a big hole in the ground...

Okay, so it’s not just a big hole in the ground (the Grand Canyon, that is). It runs, as we have learned, one mile deep, an average of ten miles from rim to rim, and 277 miles in length. So you see, it’s more than just a big regular hole in the ground. It is actually rather spectacular. The drive from Megan’s house to the Canyon wasn’t that bad either. In fact, Sophie and I (Kristen) both rather enjoyed driving through the desert. Stopping at the Hoover Dam on the way, we were able to make it to our destination in time for a late-ish dinner over the fire, even after a late start.

We woke up the next day ready to go explore the Canyon. We had been within ½ mile of its South Rim for over twelve hours before we even got a peek (though in our defense, it was dark by the time we had arrived). After a hearty pancake breakfast, we met Adrienne’s (our softball coach) twin sister, Emily, who is a park ranger at the Canyon. She took us to finally see that big hole in the ground and answered any questions that we had, including those about fending off mountain lions. She then offered suggestions about things to do in and around the Canyon, gave us firewood for the night, and even gave us a “super-secret squirrel code” to watch the sunset at Pima Point- an area usually off-limits for cars. We returned to our campsite to an unexpected, though hilarious sight- our tent had blown over and was lying completely on its side! This was quickly remedied, though, and we ate a large lunch in preparation for the rest of our day.

We spent the rest of our day walking around the rim for a bit and later set off on the Bright Angel trail 1 ½ miles into the Canyon. Our trek down was easy. The climb up, however, not so much. It is surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) difficult to walk up that same distance at a rather steep incline and a noticeable altitude change. In the end, we managed. Nobody fell in. We even made it back to the top in time to see the beautiful sunset over the Canyon- a majestic end to our final night in a national park.

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