To avoid dealing with the stack of credit card receipts, I'll show you pictures of the Grand Canyon

On Sunday we left the Phoenix area and headed north to the Grand Canyon. It's about a 4 1/2 hour drive and we planned to get there by lunch and then spend the afternoon. Since we were not feeling pressed for time, we took the slower route that goes through Sedona (where there are beautiful red rock formations) and Oak Creek Canyon. We found a spot by the side of the road and had a snack and a brief rest beside the creek.

This is G., she is trying to smile, but the sun is in her eyes.

Can you believe H. made it up and down this creek bank completely unaided? (No she's not in the picture, this just shows the steepness.)


We then continued on to the canyon. After Flagstaff, you drive for a little over an hour through open country. The interesting part of this is it doesn't look as though that there is one of the seven wonders of the natural world straight ahead of you. See? This is what it looks like for much of the drive, right until you get to the actual canyon.

Someone must have been really surprised at some point, because you very quickly go from this flat, flat land to this:

A. and G.

TM and P.

H., G., L., K., and HG3

I've been to the Grand Canyon more than a few times, but it was a first time for all the children. One of the things that has changed since the last time I was there was the shuttle bus system. I wasn't sure I would like it, but I loved it. Before, you would have to drive from overview to overview and unless you wanted to back track to collect your car, it was difficult to walk along the rim for any distance. With the bus system, you can walk as far as the little legs of your younger children can manage and then just hop on a shuttle bus. It is easy and wonderful. 

We had a lovely time and no one tried to leap into the canyon. I even managed not to twitch every single time someone got within three feet of the edge. (This is a major accomplishment.) After everyone was pretty tired out, we headed back to the car and were greeted by this group... elk!

This one is licking the car's rear view mirror.

Elk are not native to the area, but a small herd was imported for hunting purposes a while back and eventually it grew to 50,000. There are actually a bit of a problem, because as you can see, they have no fear of humans at all. And they just wander around and lie down in the road and cause huge traffic jams, to boot. But, tourists that we were, we enjoyed them.

And so that ends the travelogue. It's back to regular life... and bills... now.


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