a GRAND adventure.
Okay okay I don’t want to drag out my spring break adventures but there’s also so many awesome moments to share….so cram them into one photo-packed post I will!
I haven’t done homework in 9 days. I haven’t so much as looked at a textbook. I don’t even think I’ve looked at what’s due. I have thoroughly enjoyed my spring break as an extended recharge moment.
The last time I traveled to the Grand Canyon was on a camping trip with my parents about 12 years ago. We were caught in the middle of a huge monsoon driving in and the hail and thunder stunned us. I don’t remember much of our hike or time in the Grand Canyon so I was stoked to go back this week with my friend Kerri. It was her first time to the most-visited Wonder of the World (and she’s an Arizona native!). Say no more. To the giant crater in the earth we go.
Just hangin’ out!
We took the shuttle to the Kaibab Trailhead. “Steep and Slippery” is an understatement.We were taking baby steps to keep from sliding. 4 month-old running shoes do NOT equal hiking shoes. ;)
“What can I say about something that blows me away without sounding like another cliche?”
The epicness of the grand canyon cannot be captured in a photograph. You just can’t see the depth and vastness of the thing in 2D! As much as I love taking pictures, it really is better just to enjoy this one with your eyes.
Kerri & I got a late start to our hike, and we were warned “It takes twice as long to get back up so give yourself plenty of time.” We turned around after 90 minutes,expecting to take about 3 hours to get back up. It is STEEP, like doing the stairmaster for 2 miles straight……but it didn’t take us any longer to get back up than it did to get down.
THEY UNDERESTIMATE US AND OUR RUNNER LEGS.
Just bear with me for a couple more pictures. I was totally digging the new environment. I like collecting my memories in photographic form.
Feeling on top of the freakin’ world.
That bottom picture was our view driving back to school. Kerri took probably 90 pictures while I drove. No one can accuse us of not appreciating our surroundings….we gush about that mountain like it’s our middle school crush.
**Hey we reached the halfway point of this recap post! (I told you it was going to be jam-packed.)**
My mom must have been inspired by my Sedona & Grand Canyon pictures because she wanted some of her own. She drove up and stayed with me for the end of Spring Break.
My pass into the Grand Canyon was good for 7 days. Naturally I had to go back before it expired. So I made the journey again with my mom, this time with the goal of reaching Skeleton Point. Even though the distance is only 6 miles round-trip, coming back up 3 miles is so steep (and at 7,000 ft elevation).
We reached the turn around point, but it’s hardly “half way.” The trek down is nothing compared to the hike back up. So awesome! Being out on Skeleton Point really felt like being IN the Grand Canyon and I felt so small.
Sedona was a little less dirty, a little more red, a lotta bit warmer. We spent another nature day climbing rock stairs to picnic on Devil’s Bridge.
Crazy amounts of sunshine on this spring break and I tried to absorb it all! Can you store extra vitamin D for later?!
We were NOT ready to head home yet so we pulled up a table on the deck of a cafe and sat until we felt the start of a sunburn.
We also made a bunch of healthy recipes this week that I’m definitely going to have to share soon! But I think I’ve carried on with this post long enough :)
Spring Break had a thousand memories and now we’re back to reality. Time to make up for my lack of educational stimulation over the past week and half.
But, but….Sex & the City is on. To homework or not to homework? One episode won’t hurt…
(Not) Hiking Humphrey’s Peak
Veteran’s Day also happens to be my friend Alyssa’s birthday & for her 21st, she decided to hike the tallest peak in Arizona – Mt. Humphrey’s. It reaches 12,500ft elevation, and is currently covered in fresh-fallen snow from Friday and Saturday’s storms. Of course I was excited to join her, her mom, her brother and friend on the birthday hike!
Unfortunately, we had some direction mishaps…..Map Quest and someone’s smart phone navigation didn’t match up. We were driving down a desolate dirt road that warned “Not Maintained for Passenger Vehicles.”
It was nearing 11am, and I was worried that if we didn’t get started on the 8+ mile hike soon, we would be finishing after sunset. We decided to park our car on a random dirt road, and just start walking in the direction of the largest mountain we could see, which was covered in snow and trees. It was not Mt. Humphrey’s.
It started out with a semi “trail” which disappeared after about ten minutes.
*Okay, I am a very LOGICAL person and sometimes this can work to my disadvantage. I usually go over the worst-case scenario’s in my head, and I immediately envisioned us trapped in the deep forest with no light, food, or cell phone service. As soon as we deviated from the trail and started weed-whacking trees to create our own path, a red flag went off in my mind – “How are we going to find our way back to the car without a trail to follow when everything out here looks the same?!” Luckily, the snow allowed us to make pretty noticeable foot prints. We would just have to trace our footsteps all the way back.
After almost 2.5 hours, we could see the summit of the mountain. The last stretch had been so steep, we literally grabbed onto trees and pulled ourselves up. I was so relieved to see the end in sight!
And in honor of Veteran’s Day:
And in honor of Alyssa’s 21st Birthday:
Time to head back down! At first, it was pretty treacherous. Because it was so steep and covered in fresh snow, we were slipping and sliding our way down for a few minutes. But the hike down was definitely quicker than the hike up! We had to track our own footprints back down, which wasn’t too difficult seeing as how we were the only people on that mountain. We never passed a single person, and thankfully no wildlife either.
We saw animal tracks and “business” and knowing deer/foxes/potentially-very-hungry-mountain-goats were near us kept me alert. (I’m picturing Meredith on the camping trip from Parent Trap right now ;) )
But it really was total wilderness, and the day brought another “first” for me…
When the “trail” started to flatten out and things became familiar, I was able to breathe easy and actually enjoy the moment knowing we would not be eaten/starve/freeze to death. (Dramatic? Perhaps.) Our “exhausted” face:
We had hungry bellies and plenty of daylight to continue celebrating! Off to a Greek Grill Restaurant where Alyssa could order her first legal cocktail:
Haha too much? Just kidding :)
Definitely an unforgettable experience. Now we have to do some Google Maps research and figure out where the heck we were all day!