Wednesday, October 31, 2012


No picture, no painting can capture the panoramic beauty of God!
The Grand Canyon has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.  Bill and I had made plans on going for the past two years and we FINALLY made it.  This was our original goal (okay, we did have to scratch Yellowstone, but..) and it took us 2 weeks and 2 days to get here.  We found so many wonderful surprises on the way and we took our time enjoying everything that came our way.  What a fun trip.

See the people on the ledge?  Shows the scale of this grand view.
(Bill: Seriously people, you HAVE to click on a picture and cursor left and right to really see these pictures!)  

We were blessed to stay at the Trailer Village in the Grand Canyon National Park (Bill & Kathy had stayed there many years ago), which provided full hookups, electric/water/sewer – all the comforts of home.  You gotta love it!  Although Bill was warned not to leave the sewer hose out as the ravens will pick into it for their "supper"!  Yuk!  So every time he drained it, he would need to put it back away.

Sheila wanted me to climb out where these guys were.  Seriously?  Do you remember me rolling down the hill into the river at Hocking Hills?  Do you have a big life insurance policy on me?
We drove in through the east end of the park, which was probably a good 45 minute drive to the campground.  Now of course it took us a lot longer because you see there are scenic stops along the way and we had to stop and take pictures.  In this blog post you will realize that I turned the camera and the editing/cutting over to Bill for the time we spent at the Grand Canyon.  He believes in “quality” not “quantity”.  We are very different in that respect.  It’s just that I want to share it “all” with you and have it “all” to look back on after we are back to reality. 

Pictures can't show the scale of all this, but we try!
The Park provides a really nice bus transit system.  There are three routes. The blue one which makes several stops in the Village where the campground is located, the Red one that takes you to the west towards 9 different scenic stops and the Orange one that takes you east towards several stops.  There are museums, visitor’s centers, scenic lookouts, etc on each route.  Private vehicles cannot go to most of these places but the bus route is really slick.  Then of course there is the route that the buses don’t go but you can drive.  Lots of hiking trails, etc also.  Anyway, we did all we could do with the buses, the car and Ruby.  Most of the lookout and visitor’s centers were blacktopped, so if it was a big area that would require a lot of walking, Bill would get out Ruby.  I really appreciated the transit system, it was really a wonderful asset to getting around.

Ruby got a real workout on these hills.

So after 6 days of buses, the car and Ruby, we had seen just about every view from the top rim we could with my limited physical ability. 

I was interested in the River Rafting through the canyon but they only had multi-day trips, which I was not up to. 

The Colorado River from one mile up.  Doesn't look 100 yards across does it?
I was interested in walking, hiking around the rim, hiking down the canyon and back up --- again, not something I was physically able to do.  

Smoke in the canyon from a prescribed burn several miles away.

I was interested in walking on the “glass horseshoe / skywalk” over the canyon (really I was going to do it!) but that was another 6 hours west and then of course another 6 hours east to get back to where we were camping.  That wasn’t going to happen!  

Another view of the river.

I was interested in taking a helicopter ride over the Canyon, something Bill was not willing to do.  Seriously, I did not think there was anything he was afraid of, but no coercing would talk him into it. 

So, if I do make a full recovery and get in shape, I am coming back to see the Grand Canyon from the other dimensions…from the bottom, over the top, through it – you name it.  I want to see more.

Sunset and all the sunset fans at Hopi Point.
But, I can’t say enough about the beauty we did see from every angle possible on top.  I have been blessed!  And you can listen, discuss, analyze data and all that … I don’t really care how it happened, how many years it took --- I just know that God can, has done, and continues to do amazing work.  This Grand Canyon is His creation, magnificent craftsmanship, a spectacular, artistic vision, so wide, so deep, so multi-dimensional and so impressive that you cannot stand there and not know that HE IS GOD!!  How awesome is HE!

He's rather cute and fun!
Wildlife – this is the first trip that I have no pictures of animals in the wild.  Now we did see a condor the first day we were there but we did not have the telephoto lens with us.  Bill thought for sure we would see many more in the days to come but to no avail.  They were practically extinct a few years ago but with the efforts of the National Parks they are doing well.  We bought a stuffed one (see picture), which is actually a lot cuter than the real thing.  They are not attractive creatures but very majestic when they are in flight.  The place was flooded with ravens, big, noisy ones.  We also saw about 8 elk on the side of the road from the bus one day, one being a huge buck, but did not have time to snap a picture.  The bus driver wasn’t very helpful.  I mean you would think he could have backed up and stopped for a minute.  LOL

If you have an Indian theme going, and you want to show that the bathroom is handicapped accessible. . . .
On Sunday morning we went to the “Shrine of Ages” for service.  This building is used by several different religious groups.  (Bill: Picture this, in one building, you have Catholics, Mormons, Charismatics, Baptists, you name it - all worshipping in the same building.  A very interesting concept!) We attended the Community Church service.  Very small number but a great lesson by a “stand-in” guy.  His real job is “Facilities Manager” of the Park.  He said he fixes things.  Nice young man with wife, a little boy and another on the way.  The people were very sweet and friendly. 

Ever seen Judy Garland in "Harvey Girls"?  Well this is one of the surviving
 Harvey House restaurants.

Wow!  Was this amazing -- I ate almost all of it, Bill wasn't much help!
This is the coffee urn - creamer doesn't match...but
We enjoyed the service and then went on to the Bright Angels Lodge for lunch.  This is a very nice, older building, very unique.  Our table had a view of the Canyon and it was a beautiful day.  The meal was wonderful.  I chose well and only ate half my dinner, was feeling really proud of myself until temptation came over me and I ordered dessert and coffee.  I loved this little coffee urn --- it was so cute.  So of course I took a picture and then when they brought the dessert it was presented so well I took a picture of it also.  Bill is just shaking his head but the table of 8 next to us were laughing and encouraging, “Oh yeah, food art, of course you need a picture”.  (Bill: The woman is addicted.  Sitting there taking flash pictures of her food, the coffee pot, you name it . . . yeah, the people at the next table were encouraging - like the crowd encouraging the jumper on top of the building!) Anyway, after lunch we saw more of the sights and headed home to crash.

Our two goals on this trip, to see the Grand Canyon and then stop to see Rob, Jennifer, Grayden and Reed on the way home in Tennessee.  We have accomplished our first goal and if I didn’t have the second one coming up I would be really sad to leave the Grand Canyon.  It is rather sad to leave but we had a great time, the weather was perfect and we had as much time to sightsee and rest as needed.  Thanks to our good Lord, Dr. Lerner and the love and serving spirit of Bill for the fabulous opportunity to make and enjoy this trip.  Thank you all.

Five states to go before we make it to see our Tennessee boys!!  Who knows what sights and adventures we will encounter on the way! 

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