Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Grand Canyon...

I got to scratch off a bucket list item!

I sort of saw it in 2017 when I was sick as a dog and slept in the parking lot while the ex-jerk went and toured, but then did get to crawl out of his truck for a couple of minutes to see it as we drove by.  So how happy was I when my boyfriend said - "Hey, so my friends want to do a Grand Canyon trip in March?  You in?"



So here we go - and this is almost 200 pictures that of course don't capture the absolute gloriousness that is the The Grand Canyon but it's the best I got!  Get ready for a long one....

Pat, Elise and I rolled out on Thursday morning for the 6ish hour drive.  The group was going to consist of us, The Hernandez Fam and The Gardner Fam.  I was a bit nervous since I was sort of the odd man out.  I've met the friends but not the kiddos and we've never spent 4 days together under the same roof.  Well lemme tell ya - It was rad.  The Hernandez boys and the Gardner girls were a joy and of course I adore the adults.  Everyone meshed together brilliantly, Mandy and Jose did most the cooking, I was referred to as Mary Poppins since my OCD always had me sweeping through and cleaning up and everyone pitched in to some degree.  It was a great weekend!

We arrived around 4 or 5 to the middle of Butt Fuck Nowhere where the house we were renting lived.  It was quite cold, quite quiet an quite lovely.  Since the car ride seemed to fray Pat and my nerves I took some time to wander around the property and shoot.

Where 10 of us spent 4 days

Random Xmas Decor

Playing with my "Paint" setting


Playing with my "Sepia" setting

So quiet!

More Sepia Fun
Thursday night was mostly spent getting settled, noshing, playing games (I learned how to play Plague and Pestilence) and drinking wine out of coffee mugs.  And some littles eating Lucky Charms out of a mug.

The Gardner Fam wasn't going to be able to join us until later the next day so Friday late morning The 7 of us headed out to the Grand Canyon!

A couple of roads were closed off to traffic and were only able to go on via Shuttle.  Welp - we all know my situation, so luckily there was a permit I could get that would allow me to drive these roads.  It was so awesome!  We joked it was like VIP.  We all parked at a main area and we scurried over to get our 1st look!  (Pat and Elise were the only ones in our whole group that had been to the Grand Canyon before).  Of course our breath was taken away.  None of my pictures will do it justice, but you can at least get a little peek.  It's so vast, so beautiful, so breathtaking!!!


Then everyone piled into Pat's SUV that I was driving and we took our own little tour up the road to an area called Hermits Rest.  If you just drove straight up it was about a 25 min drive.  We stopped every so often to get out wander, take pictures and take it all in.  The bummer about this day was it was FREEZING.  There was a super cold wind and I thank GAWD my mom let me borrow her wind breaker.  We had planned to hike but the weather was just too brutal so we just site saw and wandered which worked out beautifully.

Adorbs!

I love us!

Pat and his girls
The Hernandez Fam Bam!


Playing with "Paint"

Pano

OMG I'M HERE!


Issac pondering life

What's up buff history dude....

Snow in the Canyon


Yay self timer!







I kind of love this "Paint" thing....


Really cool little gift shop!
 After this we got word that the Gardner Fam was almost there, so we headed back down to meet up with them.  On the way down we saw a deer family!!!!!  Since we're the only ones on the road, and no shuttles were in sight, I was able to back up and we got to squeal at the sweeties!!!  Pat took pictures for me out the window!

HI FRIENDS!!!!


We met up with the Gardners and wandered a bit where we had parked.





We then decided since the hike was out, to head over to Desert View.  This is where a Tower lives!!  It was about a 25 min drive (Seriously this place is huge).  It was so friggin cool! You can climb up like 4 or 5 levels.  There's paintings all over the walls, neat little look outs and just plain rad!

Loving "Paint"

So many cool little windows to look out of!



We're so cute!




I really wanted to climb up there, but alas, not allowed




Really interesting paintings all over the walls





Hi Elise!




Elise and I checked out the midview point







My love



Took a moment to try to be artsy




I could sit there all day


Always trailing behind since I'm snapping away


Da Girls!

I remember the giant raven tapping at the truck window last time I was here thinking I was dead.  I felt it was the same one, taunting me.
After this we headed to a place called the Tavern Lodge for dinner.  Pat had suggested this because he read they had smores.  What a great idea for the kids right?!  No...they stopped doing that.  Bitches.  But we all still had a great dinner!

Kids Table (Etta is hiding)

Adults Table

Then back to the house for our usual night of games, drinking, and laughing.


Made the boys pose for a picture!  They've been friends their whole lives!

Saturday brought less wind and a tad bit warmer so we decided we could do a hike that day.  We got an even later start and it being a Saturday the Grand Canyon was a bit crowded.  The largest parking lot is the main Visitors Center so we congregated there.  Unfortunately the 2 hikes Pat was thinking of were iced over, so the dude suggested Hermit's Rest.  Hey - we knew where that was!  So the majority of the crew hit the shuttles and Pat, Elise and I drove our little special way.  The shuttled ended up taking an hour which was a bummer, but we all ate a quick lunch at the car and headed out to hike.  The hike was pretty steep and did go down into the canyon.  We probably went about  half way down.  It was so beautiful and the kids did great!


My usual view when hiking




Yup...that's all of us...just hiking into the Grand Canyon like ya do!





Da Ladies

The one group shot I got!  I wanted to take more, but there just never seemed like a right time.  SO glad I got this one though!


The debate if we should head back up....



Love these pictures of us!!!!

***Swoon***

There was really trippy colored mold on the rocks

 From here Issac and The Gardner Fam joined up in the car with us while the rest of the Hernandez clan decided to walk a bit more down the road before hopping on the shuttle again.  I would have loved to join them, but I'm the jackass who can't shuttle.  Ah well...  Mandy told me later that it was beautiful! 

 We did run into our favorite Deer Family again though!!!  Squeeeeaaaaa!!!!




HI FRIENDS!!!
This got the rest of us to the store to pick up some last minute things for the yummy dinner Mandy had planned.  But before that we hit the Visitors Center.  While Pat took the kids to the Junior Ranger area, I headed out to see the view one last time.



Goodbye you beautiful piece of land!!!


After we hit the store we headed back to the house.  We had tri tip, potatoes, zucchini and carrot cake!  Mandy and Jose are quite the cooks.  We all tried to help best we could.  My hand is still cramped from peeling potatoes and carrots! Ha!  When there was a pause in needing my help, I noticed the pink sky and ran outside to try to catch some shots of the gorgeous colors!


Dude








My favorite.  THE COLORS!!!

Can you even...
Then we ate this:

The rest of the evening was a repeat of drinking, laughing, playing games and this time Mandy broke out the face masks and even the boys partook!



It was a lovely last night in the desert!

Sunday morning was pretty much up, packing, cleaning, hugging and out the door.  The Hernandez clan headed home, but the rest of us were planning to grab breakfast in Williams then hit up Bearizona.  I'm not gonna lie...we had low expectations.  Ha!  But it actually ended up being really cool!!!  You drive through the main part and there are areas with different animals roaming free that you drive by.  Then they have a walk through area that is similar to the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

Reindeer!

Timber Wolves

When we were leaving we heard them all sing!  It was so hauntingly beautiful!

Bear Nap

Bear Back Scratch


Ok...this dude....He came up to the grill of our car and started eating the dead butterflies that we murdered on the drive in.  He would not leave!  The Bearizona  dude was driving his truck around us honking and trying to scare him away.  It literally took like 4 tries.  The 3 of us were frozen in the car not sure what to do! Ha ha ha!  He finally scurried away.  Guess that's less to clean off later!

Bison
Ok...see those 2 close together?  Yeah, they decided to get it on.  I tried to drive rather quickly by them because I know animals can be aggressive when they're mating and these things were damn huge. I just imagined them ramming our car.  EEEEEK!


Kitty!


Showin off

Baby Bears!

I so wanted to pet him

A trio of cuties!
Gobble Gobble

Thirsty Fox

This Badger just stared at me like "Come on bitch...I will kill you!"

Otters!

Bagheera

Seriously...so majestic

Hi kitty!!!!!!!


Ruby and the Jag
Thus concludes my blog of the Canyon that is Grand.  It's fucking beautiful you guys!!!  Get out there and see it!  I want to go again and explore other parts.  Maybe during a bit warmer time.  Tee hee!  The crew was amazing.  The kids were great.  The scenery was epic.  My only complaint is I wish we could have stayed a bit longer.  Such an awesome vacation!!!