Family Vacation

The next morning, we got up early and headed out for The Grand Canyon.

What can I say about The Grand Canyon that hasn’t already been said? It’s something everyone should see. Here are a few random thoughts, though:

– While planning our vacation, I considered reserving space to sleep at the bottom of the canyon, and hiking down one day and back out the next. I really don’t think that would have been wise. I’m not sure that someone like me, an office boy who doesn’t do any regular exercise, could hike out of the canyon without some embarrassing moments in front of his family! We hiked 1-1/2 miles down Bright Angel Trail and back up to the top, and I was sucking wind the whole way back up. Remember, the rim of the canyon is at 7,200 feet above sea level. Unless you’re used to that, it’s pretty intense. Hiking up the canyon trail is about the same level of activity as peddling a bicycle up a hill or walking up fairly steep steps. The boys made it out twenty minutes ahead of me, and Julie was about five minutes ahead…only because she had mercy on me and stayed with me for about half the hike.

– One day, I would love to “train” to do the whole hike down and back. However, there are signs everyplace warning NOT to do it in one day. That’s the number one cause of people having to be rescued by the rangers. Someone on the Write About Jesus Discussion Board said that they did that, and didn’t realize what they were getting into. I can’t believe they did it.

– Take plenty of film, disposable cameras, or memory cards. Definitely a lot of photo opportunities.

– Hiking the canyon may not be the best way to see it. We found ourselves doing a “stop and admire” every few minutes while hiking. Otherwise, you really have to keep your eyes on the trail because it is very rough and covered with mule poop.

– There are probably hundreds of guided hikes, rafting tours, helicopter rides and stuff. If you want to spend the money, I have heard that the 2- or 3-day rafting tours are quite spectacular. Pretty much everything is provided, and the guides cook gourmet meals for you. Sounds pretty nice, but it’s tough to do stuff like that with a large family. We don’t have unlimited funds, if you know what I mean.

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