Thursday, July 9, 2015

Grand Canyon

After our stopping in Albuquerque, we headed west to the Grand Canyon. If you ever get the chance, the stretch of I-40 between Albuquerque and Flagstaff (and then on to Vegas) is breathtaking. It's a long drive, but it is beautiful. And it follows historic Route 66! Makes me think of Cars.

This was our second time together at the Grand Canyon, and we'd both been as kids as well. The buildings around the rim have changed slightly, but not much else has! Except maybe the entrance fees. Those went up. ;)

We drove along Desert View Drive (which is like 25 miles long! And provides the best views of the river, if you're into seeing it.) when we first got there, stopping at view points and checking out the scenery. The Grand Canyon is huge you guys. The National Park covers 1.6 million acres and within the park I think there's like 40 miles or something along the canyon's South Rim. The park is huge and the canyon is huge!

I think that is my favorite picture. The Grand Canyon is wild and massive, but there are also so many people crawling everywhere. It's awe inspiring nature surrounded by loud tourists and their selfie sticks. Damn whoever invented the selfie stick. But the place is so big, everyone seems tiny in comparison. Little ants.

The original game plan was to camp, but those plans were thwarted by life and we ended up staying at a hotel. Which was expensive, but it was a hotel right on the edge of the Grand Canyon... so that was cool!! And really convenient. This was the view outside our hotel:

That's our hotel! We stayed at the El Tovar Lodge. It's nice, but it's old (like built in 1905) and pricey. Still, pretty cool place. Probably haunted. We had dinner at the Arizona Room in the neighboring lodge and breakfast in the El Tovar Dining Room. Both were very good, but the dinner at the Arizona room was off the charts yummy. And very veggie friendly!

The next day we got in a little hiking before heading to Las Vegas. We hiked around the canyon rim from our hotel, I think we made it about 5 miles before we jumped on the tram to finish the rest. Hiking at the Grand Canyon is hard! You're at a pretty high elevation, so the air is super thin. Every time we went up a hill or stairs I was gasping for breath! But I recommend it, because the trails are right on the edge of the canyon, so you always have an epic constantly changing view!

View of our hotel as we hiked around the rim! And my husband, the explorer:

We forgot sunscreen. And hats. So we bought a little bottle of sunscreen for 1 million dollars at a gift shop, I used my hair to cover my neck (girl powers), and Brendon got a bandanna! It's actually a really cool bandanna, it's a map of the Grand Canyon. Plus I think he looks adorbz in it. So, win win.

The Grand Canyon is insane. These pictures don't do it justice. If you have never been, goooo. Its enormity and age makes you feel very small. In a good way. :) I'd love to go in the winter sometime. A snow covered Grand Canyon just sounds perfect. Plus less people!

Next up, we're in two places at once at the Hoover Dam! It was also 115 degrees and we almost melted.

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