When we drove across the country last January to start my new life in California, my friend Julie and I powered through North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico in 2 days with the sole intention of seeing the Grand Canyon on our way to the Bay Area. Unfortunately, as should be expected while driving across the country in January, the roads were too snowy for us to safely drive through. So we had to dip all the way down to Phoenix, AZ instead, and drive all the way back up through California. I was SO disappointed. I just wanted to see the big whole in the ground.
FLASH FORWARD to Thanksgiving 2016: We made it. My best friend and her husband road tripped all the way from Colorado, and Mason and drove all the way from Sunnyvale, CA, to meet in Flagstaff for a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner, and finally…finally…see the Grand Canyon.
First let me tell you about our Thanksgiving dinner. I know, its January. But I haven’t blogged so I need to catch
you all up on my life. So my friend Becca and her husband Tyler have been living and working on this amazing farm in Colorado called Sustainable Settings. She brought down all this delicious, beautiful produce, creamy home-churned, grass-fed butter and fresh
cream, and the perfect sized, free range turkey. Mason and I contributed our CSA that we are part of here in California, Farm Fresh to You. Just look at the spread (all gluten free, so Mason could eat everything!): the perfectly cooked turkey, a pumpkin pie with sweet pot
ato crust, a squash casserole, cabbage & pomegranate salad, and roasted broccoli & brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar & feta. SO good. SO much to be grateful for ❤
The next day, we got up, made breakfast, and we were off. The Grand Canyon. It was an hour long drive, and then we had to take a shuttle to the main trail that leads down. There were SO many people out hiking on Black Friday! At first we were a little annoyed with the crowds, but we could only respect a family that valued outdoor time over shopping. But let me tell you, if you have not seen the Grand Canyon, you cannot understand how grand, how overwhelmingly grand, it really is. Just to put into words how I felt, I can only tell you that I cried when I got there. I felt this pure, excited, joy. Glee. My stomach had butterflies. Thank goodness for sunglasses, because in this first picture, I was crying. Below are some more of my favorite shots:
We hiked down for two hours straight, and made it about three and half miles, with a total descent of about 2000 feet. FYI if you are planning a visit to the Grand Canyon keep in mind these things: first, it is 7 miles down, with a total descent of 4000 feet. Did you read that? That is a 14 mile round trip, and you are climbing BACK UP 4000 feet! We made it half way. If we started early enough we might have been able to do the whole thing, but also there is this caveat: The top of the rim starts at around 7000 feet. If you live at sea level (which Mason and I do), then climbing back up is going to be quite a challenge. Mason and I are both triathletes. Not professional, obviously, but in pretty good shape, and I sure was huffing and puffing all the way up, trying to keep up with Becca and Tyler who live at 6000 feet in Colorado.
Overall, how does one just review the Grand Canyon? It is by far the most spectacular thing I have ever seen. It is so vast. Its so beautiful. It instills wanderlust in me. I can’t wait to go back and make it to the very bottom and hike back up. Maybe on my 2018 bucket list? All I can hope for this year is to see something that will truly take my breath away as much as this place did. I think it might be seeing Mason standing at the end of the aisle on June 18 😉
What has taken your breath away recently?