Elizabeth Cook Photography

Travel

Grand Canyon- A Mix of Feelings

I'm learning how spotty it will be to have service, especially wifi, when we are traveling. I had hoped that I would be posting on my Travel blog every other day with updates- but that would be a God given miracle if I could! We left a day later than planned due to Mary (our van) problems. A small oil leak that we were worried enough about that we wanted a mechanic to fix it up before we drove 6,000 miles. Now Mary is purring! From Austin we drove to Monahans Sandhills State Park, which is essentially a mini White Sands of New Mexico. We rented sand discs and spent about an hour flying down hills and taking pictures. Peter has been so sweet and making sure my photo addiction is properly attended to although he cringes when I spend more than 30 minutes with it. Haha! 

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We made it to Grand Canyon! I wish I had recorded my first thoughts of the Canyon. I was overwhelmed with people. I've been to only hand full of National Parks but this one is literally a village inside a park. There was a bit of an overcast so the actual view of the canyon was darker than expected, but still beautiful, however the noise of tourists clicking on their phones and cameras, asking about wifi and talking to each other was quiet the distraction. It wasn't until we made it into our hike that I was at peace... and not for super long. We hiked Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch, where we camped. About a 10 mile hike with a lot of elevation changes. It was strenuous. I was mentally not ready. Physically I was about there- but mentally I was overwhelmed. You'll hear it in my next audio file:

I thought about not posting this ^^^ audio memory. But then it wouldn't be raw. It wouldn't be truthful. Hiking is hard and not as amazing as people make it out to be. Personally, I only like backcountry hiking because of the sense of reward when you hit your destination. The sense of accomplishment is magnificent. We arrived at our destination, right past the Colorado River at about 1:30pm. Usually you set up camp right away, but we fell asleep on our half blown up air mattress. Remember, we are carrying in our water, camping materials and food. We are exhausted. We fell asleep for about 2 hours and then set up camp. We had our first night of camping in the rain, which was a blessing. It down poured for about 20 minutes and then set a nice overcast on our campsite. We fell back asleep early and woke up at 4:15am to get on the trail by 5:15am. We made it back to the top by 11:30am. The hike back up was easier, probably due to the nice overcast, bit of rain and support of our knees. Hiking down is very difficult on your knees, especially mine, which are ridden with issues. 

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We ended our day in the Canyon by driving over to Grandview Point to watch the sunset- but only after showering and doing a bit of laundry. We also rewarded ourselves with a pizza and pasta from the local's favorite, We Cook Pizza and Pasta. LOL. 

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