Grand Canyon

Trip Start May 28, 2007
Trip End Sep 10, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Saturday, August 18, 2007

Well, we're camping at the Grand Canyon, hiding under the tarp from a rainstorm. We arrived last night, and my idea was to introduce Bob to the Canyon the same way I was introduced to it - at sunset. There was rain on the way, so we set up our tarp-shanty once again, but this time it took longer than usual, so we ended up missing the sunset - instead we arrived at the North Rim Visitor Center just as the last of the light was leaving the sky, so it the grand spectacle of the Canyon looked like a "big dark hole in the ground," as Bob put it.

Today we scouted out all the vistas we could find along the North Rim (supposedly the less visited and more rugged side of the Canyon), and now we're waiting out the rain and getting ready for an early dinner of mac and cheese so we don't miss tonight's sunset, too!

It's been a long while since I've updated this journal (over a month, I think), and I'm not in the mood to recount everything we've done. As far as destinations we covered, we finally made it to Alaska in July after a very costly trip through Canada, then repeated that Canadian adventure on the way back. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole Alaska side-trip - it still feels like a whole other trip from the on we'd been on before we went to Canada. I suppose I am glad we that went there, but if I'd known before hand how much it was going to cost in time and money I think I would have skipped it. It seems that too much of Alaska has been turned over to tourism, and it felt just like any other heavily-visited part of the US - just a lot farther away! The mountain scenery was amazing, though, and it's the only thing that keeps me from outright regretting that multi-thousand mile side trip...

Anyway, after Alaska, we headed down the west coast of the US through Washington (not all that great after the magnificent scenery of Alaska/British Columbia) and Oregon (foggy and rainy on the coast, hot in the interior, but beautiful all the same) for a visit with the Hurst family - first Melissa in Arcata, CA, then Ken and Charlene in Sacramento. Both stops were a great time, and Ken cooked for us for two days (as great as ever, of course). After a whirlwind tour of Sacramento we headed east to Yosemite, easily the most beautiful National Park we'd seen so far. Sadly, we were there during a terrible drought, so everything was brown and the waterfalls and rivers were dried up. Still, that park and the state of Oregon are the two places I think I'd most likely come back to visit more in depth some day.

Time and money are running short at this point, so we're on a much more accelerated pace than we were before the Alaska trip. We never stay more than two nights in the same place anymore, and even that is rare. Lately it's been one night at each site, then on to the next, with at least 350 miles of driving each day. It's a faster pace than I would like, but the whole Canada-Alaska-Canada trip took up a huge chunk of the budget and several weeks that we could have spent exploring the Lower 48 at a more leisurely pace.
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