Monday, October 15, 2012

Death in the Grand Canyon

***Beings DIY projects take us 17 times longer in our 30’s than they did in our 20’s, you all are stuck with more vacation photos today.  Mwah ha ha.***

Our last stop in Arizona was the Grand Canyon.  (You can read about our stop in Sedona here and here.)

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It’s grand.  I think these photos are great but photos really can’t do this place justice.  My brain couldn’t wrap around the massiveness of the Canyon.

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It was almost like I was in a dream.  Except Nate had one of his dumb shirts on which helped me remember that it was in no dream.  In my dreams, there are no Reese’s or Woot shirts.

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We spent 3 nights and two days in the Grand Canyon.  More than plenty.  The place is massive but it looks about the same no matter where you go.  If you’re not big into hiking, I wouldn’t suggest more than one day or you’ll end up spending some of your time on Instagram and driving your brother nuts.  Actually, it was nice having some time just to sit and relax and take in nature.  I’m no help.

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Tips for those looking to go to the Grand Canyon…Right after Labor Day turned out to be a great time to go.  There are less people.  The number of buses running decreased during our two days there.  Less people is always a win with us.  The weather was actually great too.  Low 80’s at the rim during the day and 60’s at night.

We stayed in Tusayan which is right outside of the Canyon.  There is very little in the town and hotels are expensive (but less expensive than in the park).  It was really nice to be so close to the park…but I didn’t want to eat fast food (only food option) for many weeks after.

We “hiked” around the rim.  There are quite a few miles of paved and unpaved trails that go along the rim.  We were all surprised at the lack of guard rails in the park.  And the lack of brain cells of people running and hanging on the edge.  Not this girl. 

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There’s a big giant hole over that edge.  A giant beautiful hole.

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We headed out early our first morning for a hike in the canyon.  Nate and my brother assured me that the “difficult” trail rating was only to scare away people that don’t exercise. It didn’t really mean difficult hiking.  I surround myself with geniuses.  I knew they were full of crap but decided that I needed to try anyways.  How often does this Iowa girl get to the Grand Canyon?

We started out on the South Kaibob trail. 

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Oh hello trail that I thought would be the cause of my death.  Did you know that only one person per year dies from falling in the Grand Canyon? Yes, I did Google that after this hike.

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Oh man, my heart is racing just looking at this photo.  My fear of heights got me big time at the Grand Canyon. I honestly hadn’t expected to be so nervous the entire time. My knees were shaking uncontrollably going down this trail. 

All of the signs in the park state it will take you double the time to get back up as it does for you to get down.  It took us 2 1/2 hours to get down and 45 minutes to get back up. I struggled big time going down and I wanted out of that hole on the way up.

I don’t want to scare others from hiking the trail.  Just be prepared if you have a fear of heights.  Elderly people were booking it past me.  This nice couple (approximately older than the Grand Canyon) passed us on the way down and then were cheering me on as they were on their way back up. 

The views were incredible and I’m very glad I did it.  I just might get myself a nice prescription for some Xanax for my rim to rim hike.

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We made it to the first stop on the trail.  I really didn’t want to go any farther.  This smile is fake.  I promise you.

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Nate and my brother really wanted to make it to the second stop on the trail.  With the encouragement of our ancient friends, I grabbed on to my brother’s backpack and hit the trail.  I still owe him for a chiro visit.

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The views at the second stop were worth the year that I lost due to extreme stress.

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Overall, we enjoyed our trip the Grand Canyon.  Lots of great views of a giant hole…and elk.

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How’s that for a random ending of a post.  I was boring myself.  I might get around to putting the photos up on Flickr.  Maybe.

Have you been to the Grand Canyon?  Any plans to go there?  Where should Nate and I head on our next adventure? 


  1. Things:
    1. I love your new header.
    2. I REALLY REALLY want to go to the Grand Canyon.
    3. I spy Target sandals? Jen and I have the same ones.
    4. You really saw that Elk?
    5. I love this post.
    6. The end.

  2. Such beautiful pictures, Michelle!
    I've lived in Arizona for 48 years & I can count the times I've been to the canyon on one hand.
    I hiked it twice. Once over a Spring Break for a college geology class. The last time was over a Thanksgiving break - snowing as we started down, desert temperatures across the bottom & nasty wet, sleety conditions as we attempted the North Rim. (decided not to finish that portion!) Climbed out that last afternoon in foot-high snow; not the most stable way, especially carrying a heavy pack...
    One of these days I'm going to save my pennies & take a river raft trip. My 70-year old aunts went last year & couldn't stop talking about how incredibly cool the trip was!

  3. We went to the Grand Canyon the summer between grade school and Jr. high. As a kid, it was pretty boring, but I'd love to go back as an adult and with my Hubby! I'm the same way as you about heights though! ;-)

  4. I wonder how many people fall into the grand canyon and survive but are badly mangled?

    (P.S.: This is what reading blogs on Monday morning does to my train of thought.)

  5. WOW. what amazing photos. i want to go now!!!!!

  6. I've never been! But I really, really want to. It looks so beautiful. That pic of the elk is awesome!

  7. Wow, your photos are gorgeous. I can't believe you would do that hike if you're afraid of heights. You're one brave girl!!

  8. Who would have thought that a big hole would be so pretty? My knees would be shaking too. I don't like heights. You should have seen me when I got to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

  9. Beautiful photos! I might have to add the Grand Canyon to my list of places I'd like to go.

  10. I've never been there, but I'd love to go! I can't get over those crazy awesome views!! And loveeee the new header!

  11. Jeff and I went to the Grand Canyon once . . . it was amazing, but I get nervous just thinking about it. You got WAAAAAAAAY closer to danger than I ever could. And no joke, my hands are sweating like crazy now just from looking at those pictures. I'm so glad you didn't die.

  12. I really need to visit the Grand Canyon. And your pictures are INCREDIBLE. SO if they really aren't doing it justice, it must be over-the-top incredible. You do look terrified in some of these hiking Poor thing :(. My mom is terrified of heights and I am trying to picture her on one of these hiking trails....eeee, not so much.

  13. Wow. I'd really like to check it out someday. Although I suspect I'll stay a little farther away from the edge!

  14. This looks gorgeous! I've always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, fingers crossed that we can pull that (and Vegas) off someday before offspring!

  15. bahaha the elderly couples cruising past you...I can picture it now. Poor Michelle. I'm glad you survived!

  16. new header!! I went to the GC like 10 years ago. It's like unreal/breathtaking. Had vertigo for hours though. ;)

  17. LOL at the fake smile. They really are breathtaking images. I'm going to try to sneak off to the Gran Canyon with Ryan in the spring when we are in Phoenix to celebrate our anniversary. Hopefully I'll make it put alive.

  18. That trail is BRUTAL! You're officially invited on our rim to rim this spring - it's more fun than it sounds like ;) Glad you guys had fun!

  19. I am so scared of heights like that - my heart started beating a bit faster just reading this post. Well done for facing it head on!

  20. So pretty...but I definitely would need the Xanax! I wonder how many people do slip and fall!


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