07 August 2008

Playing Hooky...

My alarm sounded yesterday at 5 am...

Yes, I played hooky and I actually got up an hour earlier than I normally do. Excited and happy I might add, so it wasn't really that hard to jump out of bed. Rich and I have been having bit of opposing days off the last few weeks, and it's been quite a while since we've been out on the road together...so, when we both decided it would be fun to play hooky, and Rich came up with a plan, you can believe it was met with a ton of excitement from both of us.

We went to Bedrock Village! Can you believe that this gem is just a little distance down the road from us?

And would you just look at that prehistoric Airstream!

Ok, really...Bedrock Village is just a mere hop skip and a jump from a much larger attraction in this neck of the woods. The Grand Canyon. You see...Rich has never been to the Grand Canyon. And, I must admit that it's been a long while since I've been to the Canyon myself (and I've only been 4 times in my entire long life as it is) So, we gassed up the scooter, put on some tunes and sang our way down the road.

Did you know that the Grand Canyon is only 2.5 hours away from us? Well...it is...and with Rich's National Parks Pass, we're planning on going for more visits. Hopefully some time soon we'll be hiking and camping in the Canyon as well.

We were both sooo excited to go to the canyon, I started to think I must have turned into an adult at some point. I mean, exactly when did going to a "natural" wonder...somewhere to hike and walk around and just enjoy the person you're with and the scenery...a place to quietly inhale and renew your connection with the world become just as exciting as going to Disneyland did when I was a child?

Probably when the natural wonder in question became like Disneyland...

Now, don't get me wrong, there is still a part of me that is all about going to amusement parks and the cheap thrills you get from going on rides and seeing live cartoon characters parading around pretending to be real...but apparently at some point I've turned into a bit of an adult because it's just as exciting to think of going out and hiking as an adult as it was to go see Mickey Mouse as a child. I've also been a bit spoiled...

I have totally forgotten about what it's like to go to a major attraction and how crowded it is with people. Usually when we're out and about in our part of Arizona, there aren't huge crowds...and to get reintroduced to this aspect, I found myself immediately being shoved off to the side of a path into a hand railing as someone had to push their way past me to get to the California Condor that was sitting on a rock (now I can see why there are the signs all over telling us to be careful around the edge of the canyon that depicts someone falling into the Canyon...it's not because of the fear of loosing your balance, it's the fear that an overzealous tourist will push their way past you and poof...see you later Grand Canyon and we hope you brought a parachute...)

The Condor was very cool...Apparently this Condor is part of the reintroduction of these rather large fluffy birds back into the Canyon area...Rich and I thought they were vultures at first, but they were very large...and usually they have balding pink heads but we couldn't see it because this guy was content enjoying the view in front of him instead of looking at the large crowd behind him (not unlike the large elk that was grazing on the side of the road that caused frantic tourists to stop their cars in the middle of the one lane road into the canyon so they could snap their pictures) Who knows? Perhaps the Condor was a tourist?

We decided to try our luck closer to the lodges thinking the crowds would be a little thinner this early in the morning, and we were right. We did actually meet a lot of lovely other people during our tour of the Canyon...people who were quick with a laugh no matter what language they were using to communicate.

We decided to
try our hand at hiking a little bit down Bright Angel Trail to get some unobstructed pictures of the canyon. We didn't get too far because of the squirrel.

Did you know that the leading injuries to people at the Canyon is Rock Squirrel bites?

I was terrified...

I stopped dead in my tracks hardly daring to breathe...

There was this teeny tiny fluffy squirrel on the trail that was looking at me with those liquid brown eyes, coming closer and closer every time I talked to it...It looked so young, but clearly it was looking for a snack. Not me squirrel...I saw the signs "Keep the Wildlife Wild" no snacks from me...I don't care how many times you bite me!

Actually, we decided to turn back because a storm was rapidly approaching and we wanted to get some other pictures before all the clouds rolled in...The last time I was there, the entire canyon filled with clouds and you couldn't see a thing...of course, there was also snow on the ground.

We decided it would be fun to drive the East highway of the Canyon for some other views, and stopped at an Indian ruin. It struck me as odd that the ruin was so far away from the amazing views of the canyon...then again, it could have been due to water in the area instead right? I mean, one could just walk to the edge of the Canyon if one wanted to.

We also stopped
at Moran Point...which we quickly renamed Moron Point after almost being backed into no less that 4 times by a guy in a BMW who refused to look behind him. Rich handled it well, just trying to keep out of his way while I sat in the passengers seat and said things like "aaaaah!!!" and "eeeee!" while clutching my stomach...it was like a bad episode of The Wheel of Fortune. Luckily we have a small car and there was no one behind us...Rich didn't even honk, and I was about ready to get out of the car and give this man a few driving pointers, but we decided maybe we weren't meant to see this particular view and drove onto the next instead.

This one was more crowded with people jabbing and scurrying down the rocks, which prompted Rich to lean over to me at one point and say, "Are we the only Americans here?" which made me laugh because I just heard a little girl say the exact thing to her mom...The storm was really rolling in by this point...so we decided to head home.

We made it back in time to have a lovely lunch and rode over to watch the new Batman movie (strangely enough this is our very first movie date in a theater together) it was an amazing, movie but very intense, and I found myself needing to take a lot of time to really calm down afterwards.

This was a wonderful surprise day off in the middle of the week, made even more special because I got to spend time with Rich...see his reaction to viewing the Canyon for the very first time...and thank you for your well wishes, but what's with all the winks and nudges? I mean, sure there was hand holding, smiles and a lot of giggles...but there usually is when we're together. Most of the groping that happened was from tourists and the only times Rich grabbed me in passionate embraces was to keep me from being nudged over the edge and into the canyon. But, even after all of that, you can believe we'll be going back more and we made the promise to bring at least one of the digital Elphs to that we can have someone take our pictures together...we just didn't feel safe handing over the SLR's...

7 comments:

Kristin said...

ohh I love this post..so cute, the pictures are breathtaking, and making me want to see the grand canyon even more now..but I love the story of the squirell..to funny!!

Mytutorlist.com said...

Bedrock Village! We used to have a Flintstones theme park around here, but it's become Dinoland now, which is not half as cool. I used to go there all the time when I was little.

Where is Bedrock village? Maybe I will swing by one day to reminiscience.

Lois Grebowski said...

Oh I am so freaking jealous! that sounds like total day of fun! I'm jones-ing to see the canyon...

I've never heard of Bedrock Village, but that, too, is on now my list...LOL!!!!

As for the winks and nudges (who? me?), it's just girlfriend stuff... kinda the equivalent of guy fist-bumping and the wink and the gun!

She sure is strange! said...

I'm not much for straight drops for thousands of feet but the pictures are GORGEOUS!!!

Have you ever been to Canyon de Chelly(near Chinle)? It was on the tour of T-shaped doors I went on for a college anthropology class one summer. Just a beautiful place but again with the cottonwood allergies. I highly recommend it for you two hiker/photographers.

Mary said...

Only you would get up at 5 a.m. to play hooky! LOL! Looks like a great way to spend the day. You've been having lots of fun lately, it would appear. I'm totally jealous of those pink Campers!!

Suzanne said...

Great photos! You know, those condors used to have a number painted onto their side so they could easily be tracked, and #19 landed by me many, many years ago. They ARE soooo cool to see! Glad you had the chance to play hooky!

mommiemarzie said...

What an adventure! Rabid squirels, oblivious yuppies in beemers, and show stopping condors. Wow. Looks beautiful.
-Kathy

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