Sunday, August 30, 2009

What we did in Flagstaff...Part III

Thursday: Grand Canyon

On Thursday we drove out to the Grand Canyon, which is about an hour and a half away from Flagstaff. We drove by the overlooks with the kids, but they were so worn out by this part of the vacation that they were TERRIBLE. Paul especially couldn't cope with anything. Aaron and I had planned to take them home after lunch, but Kerry and Connie volunteered to go back with them so that we could go hiking with everyone else. We were just in everyday jeans and a t-shirt, but we figured that would be just fine for the amount of hiking we were planning to do.

We hiked about 3 miles into the canyon and stopped for a rest about 1/4 mile from the end of the trail. By this time, dark clouds had started rolling in and it was looking quite nasty. A ranger stopped by and asked us why we were stopping here instead of at the end. When we mentioned that we thought we should head back because of the weather, he told us that there wasn't lightning yet, and that's when we really needed to worry. Trying to beat the lighting as we scrambled up the canyon wasn't something we were prepared to do, so we turned around and started hiking back up as quickly as we could.

We knew that we had descended quite a bit, but it wasn't until we were heading back up that we realized how steep the trail actually was. And then it started raining. Not a soft, cooling rain, but a heavy, cold monsoon. We were absolutely drenched. And since Aaron and I were wearing jeans, we gained about 10 pounds of water weight and lost most of our mobility. It was also at this point that I remembered that I hadn't been hiking (really hiking) since before we were married. Let me tell you, that hike back up was tough. We did it very quickly though. They advise you to plan on spending 1/3 of your time hiking down and 2/3 hiking back up. Since it took us an hour to get down, we figured it would take at least 2 to get back up, but we did it in an hour and a half. A very wet hour and a half.

To add insult to injury, there was no way to dry off for the long ride back home. I even went to the shops there to see if I could find a pair of sweats or pajama bottoms or a blanket or something, but there was nothing less than $30 and I was willing to catch hypothermia for that amount of money. When we got home, we literally ran to get into a hot shower. This was the time when I was the most thankful for the huge, gorgeous shower in the master suite (which Aaron and I were staying in). We were especially glad that the kids were warm and dry at home.

A deer that we saw on the side of the road. It was quite large and totally unafraid of the car.

Matt and Megan.

The fam at the overlook.

Our little model posing.

This is her funny camera smile. She loves the camera!

See how steep that trail is? Not fun going up.

Friday: Shopping and bowling

Flagstaff has a cute little old town that has several fun boutiques. Connie gave all the girls spending money and we spend the morning sans kids and guys shopping. I guess I had a hat thing that day, because I bought two hats. And I love them. I can't wait to wear my wool hat when it gets a bit cooler.

It looks similar to this, but black. I love it. I feel like I'm in Seabiscuit. I also got a purse and 2 pairs of hoop earring. Tres fun.

We also went bowling that evening. I don't think there's a worse place you can take photos, so I don't have many. But here are my cute kids. They obviously had a great time.