On our trip to Colorado for Labor Day Weekend, we made a little road trip south to the Grand Canyon. The trip that was supposed to take four or five hours turned out to take more like seven, with stops along the way at Four Corners, Elephant Feet and the Little Colorado Gorge.
When we finally arrived at Grand Canyon National Park, we entered at the South Entrance and let out a communal 'whoooooooaaaaa' as we rounded the corner and saw the Canyon for the first time. We pulled off at the first overlook we could find (Navajo Point) and jumped out of our rented Explorer.
None of us had been to the Grand Canyon before and my friend's "Is this even real?" comment could not be more true. My mom had told me before I went that it really does look just like the pictures, even though you are standing right there, and she was right. Despite it being right in front of me, it is still unbelievable. It's size is unfathomable. If someday someone comes out and says it is all a hoax, that there is some giant green screen force field projecting the images, I would by it. Even though I've seen it in person. It is too big to even comprehend.
After stopping at the lookout, we stopped for some food/firewood and made our way to our campsite at Mather Campground. The night was spent with good food, good friends and good beer around the camp fire, and we even had a visit from 'Erik' the elk, who hung out maybe 30 feet from our campsite all night.
Saturday morning, we went on a 1.5 mile hike on the South Kaibob Trail to Ooh Ahh Point. A mile and a half in the Grand Canyon sounds a lot easier than it actually is, especially in the rain. The walk down was fine – a little steep at times, a little too narrow for my tastes/safety, but fine. It started raining right as we got to Ooh Ahh Point, where we were to turn around and walk back up. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't miserable, or that I didn't struggle. I definitely deserved that gourmet coffee when I got back to the Visitors Center.
All in all, it was a great experience. I wish we had more time there. I wish we could have done my trials (surprising, considering how terribly that one went....). I wish we could have seen the Havasupai waterfalls. I wish it hadn't been so cloudy so I could have seen a sunrise and/or a sunset at the Grand Canyon.
Guess I'll have to go back someday....