It’s time for another tag-team blog post. Amy’s green; I’m blue.
JON: So, before we left Winslow last week, we did the obligatory stop at “the corner.”
AMY: Yes, we needed to stop here since we had the Eagles stuck in our heads. The city did a nice job marketing this corner.
JON: The flatbed Ford was a nice touch. Other than this corner though, Winslow was a letdown.
AMY: I didn’t think it was a letdown. I guess I didn’t expect that much from Winslow.
JON: On Wednesday we stopped at the big meteor crater between Winslow and Flagstaff. I first saw this when I was in high school, and I remember thinking it was really cool (and it is), but it didn’t “wow” me like it did that first time.
AMY: Even with all of your hype, I was still impressed. The museum was also a nice overview of meteors and outer space.
JON: Here’s a 180-degree view. (Click the photo for a larger version.)
AMY: I was very excited to get to the Grand Canyon on Thursday.
JON: Me too. We got to the south rim just in time to see the sun set, which was cool, but I was disappointed by all of the people there. The whole place felt like an amusement park.
AMY: We knew it was going to be like that though.
AMY: The long paved trails were calling me to a sunrise morning run. There was a small crowd at the popular viewing point but the majority of the miles was just me and the canyon.
JON: Nice morning lighting!
AMY: This might be one of my favorite runs of this trip.
AMY: We were only able to get one night at the south rim campground, and I wanted to visit the geology museum before we moved on. Good exhibits, but more crowds.
JON: I was thrilled that the crowds thinned out as we got away from the visitor’s center. I was afraid that every single overlook was going to have tons of people and those dumb fences.
JON: Here’s a 180 degree view from the south rim. (Click the image for a larger version.)
AMY: One of the more interesting exhibits was an outdoor timeline with rock specimens from each of the layers of the canyon.
JON: I loved this. I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that the bottom layer of the canyon — which you can see and touch — is 1.8 billion years old.
AMY: We stopped in a visitor’s center and recognized this ranger from Joshua Tree. We remembered his great stories about the wildlife there, and he had equally entertaining stories about some of the Grand Canyon wildlife.
JON: He clearly loves what he does. These park ranges are so happy.
AMY: One of the nice things about Grand Canyon was that we were able to walk for a long way without having to worry about walking back.
JON: I hadn’t thought about it like that, but you’re right, those shuttles were nice.
JON: The parking lots were so crowded that we had to improvise a parking spot, apparently provoking the ire of the park rangers. We found this “love note” upon returning to the RV.
AMY: I’d love to see them try to tow us!
AMY: We decided to head to the north rim, which gets only 10% of the Grand Canyon visitors.
JON: I think it’s crazy that it’s only 10 miles from the south rim to the north rim as the crow flies, but over 200 miles to drive!
JON: Carrie and I signed up for an afternoon of mule-riding in the canyon.
JON: Carrie started taking horse riding lessons when she was 5, so she was right at home.
JON: It was a great way to experience Grand Canyon (though it was harder on my butt than I anticipated.)
AMY: Em, Nat and I hiked the same trail, but due to the dust and mule manure it was not a very pleasant hike.
AMY: This mule ride was one of the few things Carrie has asked to do on this trip. I’m really glad she got to do it.
JON: Yeah it was fun to do something special like this with her.
JON: There wasn’t an ounce of B.S. in our guide, Kitty. We liked her!
JON: We even got cheesy diplomas certifying us as official “Grand Canyon Master Muleteers.”
AMY: After a full day of mule rides and hiking, we took a scenic drive to end the day. Here we are at Point Imperial, the highest point in the park at 8800 feet.
JON: It was quite a view. Click the image below for a larger 180-degree panorama:
AMY: This stop turned out to be a great place for a dinner picnic:
AMY: This is another stop on our scenic drive called Cliff Springs. This short hike turned out to be the “up close” hike into the canyon I had been hoping for all day.
JON: This was the last stop, Cape Royal, known to be a good sunset spot.
AMY: It also offered a 250-degree view of the canyon that I was eager to see.
JON: You shot this photo of Natalie; I love the lighting.
AMY: I have come to love our sunset-watching hikes. They are good times to sit and enjoy the girls.
JON: This was what I hoped the Grand Canyon would be: smaller crowds and amazing views. I’m glad we found these spots. Of course, we had to hop the fence to get to this point.
AMY: Happy Father’s Day! The girls and I enjoyed making you your favorite breakfast.
JON: It was great, eating a delicious breakfast with my family. I say this every year, but I swear I feel like every day is Father’s Day. :)
JON: My Father’s Day presents were perfect: A box of Cap’n Crunch, a box of Little Debbie Nutty Bars, a pouch of Big League Chew, and a portion of Natalie’s half-eaten carrot cake that I had been teasing her about sharing with me. :)
AMY: We drove just 80 miles on Sunday to Mount Carmel Junction, Utah to be near Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.
JON: The internet has been a real challenge here, but it’s otherwise a quaint little corner of Utah. I love the neon signs across the street.
AMY: This week I’m looking forward to seeing Zion and Bryce, two more great National Parks to experience (I dream about being a park ranger!) I hope to see as many as we can before we start heading home.
JON: “Home” is where we park it! It’s hard to believe we only have a few weeks left. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Bonneville Salt Flats at the end of the week…I think that’s the last “must see” place for me, at least for this trip.