Adventure at the Grand Canyon

It was naive of me to think that we would cover most of edge of the South Rim in these two days at the Grand Canyon.  There is just no way to really see it all in that time and that is not even considering all of the sights to see on the North Rim!  The South Rim alone has about 30 miles of pathways to explore.  Yesterday we saw the sunset at Mather Point.  This day's adventure would be to check out the Desert View and the watch tower. 

We pulled into the parking lot and the kids just wanted to play in the snow.  Hey guys!  We are at the Grand Canyon!

Seriously?  They are so goofy!

The Desert View Watchtower is a simple but beautiful 70 foot stone tower that was built in the 1930s.  You can go up to the top of the tower for an impressive 360 degree view of the Canyon.  We thought we would check out the actual Canyon first and then come back to the tower.

This was a cool spot that we stumbled upon.  We could see lots of great colors in the Canyon plus the Colorado River down below.  Notice that rail behind us.  After we watched many adventurous people yesterday going beyond the rail to hike down and around the Canyon, we decided we needed to venture beyond the rail too.  

Best. Decision. Ever!

We have a lot of pictures of this part of the Canyon with the Colorado River behind us.  However, they are not all exactly the same because with each picture we were getting a little bit lower into the Canyon.  Each one was a exciting new achievement for us.  This area is at the far east side of the Canyon and it is looking towards the north.

What an amazing thing to be able to check this beauty off of my Bucket List!

Do you see that little black "V" shape in the middle of the picture below, at the edge of the tan ground?  If it seems too small, just click on the picture to expand it to full size.  Nicholas made his way all the way out there and he was posing with his arms lifted high.

On the way back he climbed the rock formation so he could get a little higher.

Rachel made her way down the path too.  My kids are hiking and climbing in the Grand Canyon!  What an incredible experience!

Rachel is a feisty climber for being so little.  She made it up with no problem at all.

We realized at some point that when we looked back to the top of the Canyon, we could no longer see the railing or the visitors lined up along it.  Stuart pointed out that we have explored further than the people behind the rail can even see.  This is so much like Faith.  God has greater plans for our lives than we can even imagine.  We can not see his plan for us but He calls us to walk by Faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).  When we do He will bless our paths beyond measure.

It was chilly and you can see there is still some snow in the shady areas of the Canyon.

Nicholas photo bombed my picture!

Rachel wrote "R (Rachel) loves M (Mommy)" in the snow.

My adventurous boys kept working their way further and further down into the Canyon.

Before we started heading back out of the Canyon, Stuart called us together for a special prayer.  I hope he doesn't mind that I recorded it. I am so glad I did.  

Rachel and I started making our way back up to the tower.  This is a picture of the upper part of the path we had traveled to come down into the Canyon.  

It really isn't hard to navigate and it is a well traveled path.  You just have to pay attention to your footing and it is a little bit more strenuous to climb up than it was to come down.

Before we all came out of the Canyon, the boys wanted to explore one more area.  They went to check out what looks like a stack of giant rocks.  Stuart is way down there to the right of rocks in a light blue shirt with a black jacket.

Nicholas climbed and explored the giant rocks.  It is amazing to me how this formation is even here among the rest of the Canyon.  It looks out of place yet there are many more like it through the Grand Canyon.

Here is as far as Nicholas explored on the giant rocks.  He is small against their vast size but he is the black speck near the top with his arms raised high.  He wanted to reach the top of it but even he realized that there wasn't a safe way to get up there.  This mama is thankful for God's protection over this kid who loves to be extreme.

Meanwhile, Rachel was happy to just watch from afar in a seat she found in a tree.  She is a mama's girl.

When we made it back up to the top we climbed the stairs up to the top of the Desert Watchtower.  There are lots of windows with telescopes that you can view the Canyon through.  It was a great way to see it all from above but that was nothing compared to the first hand experience we had today exploring down in the Canyon.

Here is a view of where we hiked today including the stack of giant rocks that the boys explored.  

We didn't explore in this direction but here is a picture looking to the west at all of the Canyon stretching out before us.  There is so much here that we couldn't have begun to explore it all in just a few days but we have had some incredible experiences here and shared some great family moments.

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