Monday, July 20, 2015

Magical Trip Report: Grand Canyon North Rim

You might have noticed that yesterday's blog post was titled:  Ten Things of Thankful:  A Magical Trip Edition.  Perhaps you wondered, "Why did Kristi use the word 'magical' ?" Today I will tell you.  

Photo:  Profile view of John driving the van

Before we arrived at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, we stopped for lunch at a little diner in Kanab. John picked up the local guide to the southern Utah area, and I thumbed through it as we waited for our meal.  I noticed that nearly every headline contained the word magic or magical.  For some reason, every time I turned another page and saw magic or magical, I dissolved into another fit of giggles.  Perhaps it's not as funny as I think it is, but we will probably continue for years to come to refer to our visit to the Grand Canyon as our magical trip.  (If you don't understand the difference between a trip and a vacation, be sure to click here.)

Photo:  Southern Utah Vacation Guide, with the phrase, 'Magically Unspoiled'
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is definitely my favorite side of the park!  As you approach the park, instead of driving through desert, you drive through forests and meadows.  The summer temperatures are perfect, and the park is not terribly crowded.  We were even able to book a cabin with less than a week's notice.  (I'm not sure that is typical--maybe just magical! I would recommend booking further in advance, to be on the safe side.)

Photo:  Me, John, and our two youngest children in front of the "Entering Grand Canyon National Park" sign
The views from the rim of the canyon are, of course, for lack of a better word, magical!

Photo: Green trees in foreground, Grand Canyon in background, with Colorado River snaking through the bottom of the canyon

Photo:  Panoramic view of Grand Canyon, with rocks and trees in the foreground

Photo:  Sunshine lights up green plateaus of the Grand Canyon

Photo:  John and youngest son standing on walkway overlooking red rocks of the Grand Canyon

Photo:  A green tree frames a view of the Grand Canyon
We went on several short hikes while we were there, but we didn't venture down into the canyon itself.  Remember, the park is at around 8000 feet elevation, so (unless you are coming from a similar altitude) you will probably need to adjust your pace.  I overheard, "We really need to get in shape!" 

Might I offer one suggestion?  If you do decide to do a "longer" hike, plan it for the morning, or at least for a time when thunderstorms are not in the forecast.  Or at the very least, wear a rain poncho!  OR, ignore my advice, and perhaps finish your hike looking like the drowned rats we were:

Photo:  John, soaking wet, and youngest daughter, exhausted and soaking wet after getting caught in a thunderstorm

Photo:  Youngest son, soaking wet

Photo:  Me, soaking wet, standing next to a hiking path that has water flowing down it
Of course, be aware of your surroundings and be safe.  Certainly do not stand at the rim during a thunderstorm!

Grand Canyon National Park offers more magic than "just" the canyon.  We saw flowers, deer, squirrels, and wild turkeys--though the wildlife seemed to disappear (like magic!) before I captured a photo.  You'll just have to take my word for it, I guess. 

Photo:  A close-up of a pale yellow, 5-petaled flower on a shrub

I guess the Southern Utah Vacation Guide was right; the Grand Canyon is a magical place!


Photo:  John and I sitting on a big rock, with a tree limb framing the photo and the Grand Canyon in the background


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Thanks for a magical trip!

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14 comments:

  1. Okay, these photos are as gorgeous, as is the place! Simply beautiful. Did you have to find a place to change out of those wet clothes before getting back into the car?

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    1. Look away, Mom. We just strategically blocked the view with car doors and people facing outward, and took turns changing in the parking lot. I just changed out of my denim jeans, jacket, socks, and shoes, figuring the rest would dry fairly quickly. (The rain had stopped by the time we got back.)

      Yes, it is a beautiful place. Put it on your list of places to see! We'll go with you, if you want.

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  2. Love your Magical Moments with the family!
    We were near the North Rim last year and I really wanted to see it from that side - been on the South Side several times now - but Henk didn't want to bother. Every vacation - yes, we do have vacations - he reaches a point of "sensory overload". He just can't absorb any beautiful landscape or scenery any more. He longs for a city or town or even a big truckstop will do, to get back to normal..... So, I never got to see the North Rim and now I did! Thank you for that! Glad I didn't get soaking wet too. Looks rather uncomfortable. I'm glad you had such a Magical time. xxx

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    1. I can kind of understand that sensory overload. Sometimes, we've visited so many museums or castles or historic places that they just start to run together and it feels like, "If you've seen one, you've seen them all." Even when I was going through my photos, I realized that a lot of my pictures looked about the same.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the post--and maybe next time, you'll make it to the North Rim in person! :-)

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  3. (I did note that, of all the people caught in the thunderstorm, only one had thought to bring a hat!)
    excellent photos

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    1. That is my SUN protection hat, but I know at least John was envious of it when the hail started hitting! I really dislike wearing hats, but I dislike the pain of sunburn even more. The hat did come in handy--though I wasn't any drier than anyone else!

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  4. Your photos are amazing, especially the last one of you and John. I've never been to the Grand Canyon, but now I want to go.

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    1. Youngest son deserves credit for that photo.
      I definitely recommend the North Rim!

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  5. Hahaha! My comment was almost identical to Clark's! We did a mule ride down to the river years ago. Rough riding...should have hiked!

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    1. I've only ridden a mule once, and while I enjoyed the adventure (we visited the leper colony on Molokai), I wouldn't call myself an equestrian at all.

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  6. I've never seen the north side of the Grand Canyon and I would love to go! My husband and I went to Sedona and the south side of the Canyon on our honeymoon. Maybe we can do the north side for an anniversary!

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    1. I'd certainly recommend it! You could drive to St. George in a day, then drive to the North Rim the next. It's only open during May-October, so hopefully you had a summer wedding. :-)

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  7. Those pictures really ARE magical! I've never been to the Grand Canyon, and your pictures make me want to go!
    How do you manage to look so darling when you're soaking wet? I see you were the only one who remembered a hat!
    I have a hiking in the mountains story that I need to write.

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    1. The Grand Canyon is a magical sight!
      You are so sweet to find me darling. The hat was supposed to keep me from getting sunburned; I didn't realize it would be a rain and hail shield.
      Can't wait to read your story!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!