July 8, 2012

The Grand Canyon North Rim Adventure continues...

Background:  (Because you might have forgotten....) The Overtooms joined with another family, whose names will be changed for privacy reasons, to seek out the Rim less visited.  Two members were left behind at the start of the trip because of illness and were sorely missed.  It took eight hours to reach their destination, where they would set up camp for three gloriously cool days and enjoy nature as much as possible, though sometimes the parents would sometimes employ torture techniques commonly called "dish washing" and "hiking" to make sure the kids truly appreciated their free time.  When the last post ended, the families had just arrived at their campsite....
The Three Parental Units.  Don't ask me why I have that goofy smile.

The Six Future Junior Rangers in various stages of happiness
Me and my man, who loves me even when I have a bad hair day.
Our "Big Agnes" tent in the foreground; Our friend's tent in the background to the left.

The food preparation table was behind the eating table.  The kids used the eating table  and the adults either stood or sat in camp chairs.

On a way to the Transept Trail.  The boys are wrestling, as usual.
After setting up our tents and re-arranging the two picnic tables so that we could all eat together, we walked to the edge of the campground where The Transept Trail started.  Two other short trails branched off for different vistas.  We walked for about 1/3 of  a mile which allowed us our first unobstructed view of the Canyon.  I have visited the South Rim several times in the course of my life and even walked partway down the South Rim when I was in my 20's.  Every time I catch my first glimpse, the splendor of the view leaves me speechless and breathless.  The aching beauty brings tears to my eyes.  The depth and vastness gives me a sense of vertigo, as if my eyes were playing tricks on me.  Pictures cannot do it justice.  It is something you truly have to experience for yourself, but until that time....

My first glimpse of the canyon through the trees

Trees framing scuplted rock.  This was taking with Eric's Nikon

The big reveal, in all its glory, hazy in late afternoon sunshine
As I stood worshiping God for His intricate workmanship in forming and coloring this magnificent sculpture, high pitched, whiny voices penetrated my skull insisting that food be provided at once.  We trekked back to our campsite and started pulling out hot dogs, buns and coleslaw for our first, quick and dirty meal.  After stomachs were satisfied and dishes washed, we walk over to the Ranger "Campfire Talk."  There was no campfire because conditions were so dry that no fires of any kind were allowed--only propane stoves could be used for cooking.  We knew that in advance and had planned our menus accordingly.  Ranger Jake talked about nocturnal animals in the Grand Canyon.  The kids enjoyed the talk and Jessi impressed the ranger by telling him that bats use echolocation (Thank you Apologia Science program) to find their food.  After the nature talk, we returned to camp and I prepared hobo s'mores in honor of her birthday.  Hobo s'mores are graham crackers with chocolate frosting on one side and marshmallow fluff on the other side.  We sang the "Happy Birthday" song and let the kids play through their sugar high until they hit the insulin crash.  The parents were as exhausted as the kids and we all went to sleep hearing the sounds of the bats chirping to find their food.  Before morning broke the next day, Eric and I were awakened about ten times by the boys, each taking his turn in crying out, popping up half asleep and crying or asking for help to get back into their sleeping bags.  I started the next day with a different kind of prayer.

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