Death in the Grand Canyon

***Beings DIY projects take us 17 times longer in our 30’s than they did in our 20’s, you all are stuck with more vacation photos today.  Mwah ha ha.***

Our last stop in Arizona was the Grand Canyon.  (You can read about our stop in Sedona here and here.)

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It’s grand.  I think these photos are great but photos really can’t do this place justice.  My brain couldn’t wrap around the massiveness of the Canyon.

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It was almost like I was in a dream.  Except Nate had one of his dumb shirts on which helped me remember that it was in no dream.  In my dreams, there are no Reese’s or Woot shirts.

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We spent 3 nights and two days in the Grand Canyon.  More than plenty.  The place is massive but it looks about the same no matter where you go.  If you’re not big into hiking, I wouldn’t suggest more than one day or you’ll end up spending some of your time on Instagram and driving your brother nuts.  Actually, it was nice having some time just to sit and relax and take in nature.  I’m no help.

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Tips for those looking to go to the Grand Canyon…Right after Labor Day turned out to be a great time to go.  There are less people.  The number of buses running decreased during our two days there.  Less people is always a win with us.  The weather was actually great too.  Low 80’s at the rim during the day and 60’s at night.

We stayed in Tusayan which is right outside of the Canyon.  There is very little in the town and hotels are expensive (but less expensive than in the park).  It was really nice to be so close to the park…but I didn’t want to eat fast food (only food option) for many weeks after.

We “hiked” around the rim.  There are quite a few miles of paved and unpaved trails that go along the rim.  We were all surprised at the lack of guard rails in the park.  And the lack of brain cells of people running and hanging on the edge.  Not this girl. 

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There’s a big giant hole over that edge.  A giant beautiful hole.

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We headed out early our first morning for a hike in the canyon.  Nate and my brother assured me that the “difficult” trail rating was only to scare away people that don’t exercise. It didn’t really mean difficult hiking.  I surround myself with geniuses.  I knew they were full of crap but decided that I needed to try anyways.  How often does this Iowa girl get to the Grand Canyon?

We started out on the South Kaibob trail. 

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Oh hello trail that I thought would be the cause of my death.  Did you know that only one person per year dies from falling in the Grand Canyon? Yes, I did Google that after this hike.

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Oh man, my heart is racing just looking at this photo.  My fear of heights got me big time at the Grand Canyon. I honestly hadn’t expected to be so nervous the entire time. My knees were shaking uncontrollably going down this trail. 

All of the signs in the park state it will take you double the time to get back up as it does for you to get down.  It took us 2 1/2 hours to get down and 45 minutes to get back up. I struggled big time going down and I wanted out of that hole on the way up.

I don’t want to scare others from hiking the trail.  Just be prepared if you have a fear of heights.  Elderly people were booking it past me.  This nice couple (approximately older than the Grand Canyon) passed us on the way down and then were cheering me on as they were on their way back up. 

The views were incredible and I’m very glad I did it.  I just might get myself a nice prescription for some Xanax for my rim to rim hike.

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We made it to the first stop on the trail.  I really didn’t want to go any farther.  This smile is fake.  I promise you.

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Nate and my brother really wanted to make it to the second stop on the trail.  With the encouragement of our ancient friends, I grabbed on to my brother’s backpack and hit the trail.  I still owe him for a chiro visit.

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The views at the second stop were worth the year that I lost due to extreme stress.

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Overall, we enjoyed our trip the Grand Canyon.  Lots of great views of a giant hole…and elk.

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How’s that for a random ending of a post.  I was boring myself.  I might get around to putting the photos up on Flickr.  Maybe.

Have you been to the Grand Canyon?  Any plans to go there?  Where should Nate and I head on our next adventure? 

Hiking in Sedona

Alternate title:  I shouldn’t post some of these photos on the interweb.

On Tuesday I mentioned that most of our time in Sedona was spent hiking.  We’re wild and crazy kids.

Our first stop was the Boynton Canyon trail.  We were greeted with a bear warning.  My brother and I were fully prepared to take on any wild animals that we might encounter.

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No, we didn’t encounter any wild animals.  Yes, I wore lots of sunscreen.  Yes, my nickname was bear meat. No Mom, we will never grow up.

This hike was a 6 mile round trip hike through the canyon.  It was a fairly easy hike.  Most of it was shaded which was an added benefit.

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This hike was pretty uneventful.  Some nice Austrian man took our photo at the end of the trail.  We gave my brother lessons in composition while on this trip.  Looks like we should have also offered them to our new friend.

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Nate took pretty photos.  My brother and I were obnoxious. The usual. The following pose is still in, right?

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My brother wants everyone to know that he took the following photo. Not Nate.  Just to clear that up.

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Our next trail was Devil’s Bridge. A 3 mile round trip trail. My brother and Nate enjoyed this trail.  I did not.  This is the time that I tell you all about my fear of heights.  I like to hike flat trails.  Not trails where I can fall to my death…like this trail.  Here is the bridge.  My brother and Nate walked out on that thing.  I did not.  No way.  No how.

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The views on the way up were quite awesome.

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The trail itself.  Eh.   This was a good part.

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The following photo sums up this hike.  Me baby stepping up the trail.  Nate taking photos of my rear (which I cropped out to save us all).  My brother resting and taunting me.  I hate my brother.  And my husband.

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We eventually made it to the top.  Where I sat firmly planted in a safe location. 

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My brother and Nate walked on out on that thing.  Dumb. Some doctor kept trying to get me to go out there.  I forgave him after he saved us a 1.5 mile hike back from the trailhead to our car.

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Our last hike was the West Fork Oak Creek trail.  This hike was 6 miles round trip.  This trail had 12 creek crossings which was kind of fun.

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The only thing we disliked about this trail was that the end was pretty uneventful.  We were hoping for some big pool or awesome view. This was it.  Still pretty but eh.

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This concludes our hiking tour of Sedona.  Are you still awake?  Anyone?

Do you like to hike?  Anyone else with a major fear of heights?  (Just wait for the Grand Canyon post!)


Do you all remember when I told you that we went on vacation?…a month ago.  I finally have photos to prove it.  For real.  And who doesn’t love blogger vacation photos?

Our first stop in Arizona was Sedona. 

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Photos can not capture how amazing this place is.  I felt like I was in movie set the whole time we were there. Hence my movie star hipster pose.

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Where We Stayed:  We stayed in this condo. We like using VRBO for our vacations.  This 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo was $110/night which is cheaper than most hotels.  It was pretty horribly decorated but was clean and quiet.  We like the extra space that a condo offers.  It also allows us to eat in breakfast and lunch to help save a little extra cash. The condo also had a salt water pool.  We had the pool to ourselves most of the afternoon.  The owners were super easy to work with.  Thumbs up.

Where We Ate: We enjoyed suppers at Picazzos, Oak Creek Brew Co., and Plaza Bonita.  The food was delicious at all of them.  They all get great recommendations from us.  For whatever that is worth.

What We Did:  We hiked every morning.  We got up early to beat the heat.  We would hike until lunch time.  We would eat lunch in the condo.  Nap.  Swim in the pool.  Go out for supper.  Watch the sunset.  Sleep.  Repeat times 3 days.  Man, I miss vacation.  I’ll share more photos of our hikes in the next week or so.

We were warned that Sedona at the end of August/beginning of September would be extremely hot.  It was hot but not enough to limit us from doing the activities that we wanted.  We woke up early to hike and swam in the afternoon.  Take that heat.  We were also there during the beginning of a rainy season.  It rained each afternoon but we used that time to nap.  Take that rain.  The rain also lent itself to some fun photos.

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This last photo reminds me.  The next time my brother joins us on vacation, he’s going to need to bring a girl.  Just saying. I can no longer spend a week as the third wheel. I’ll even host a blog giveaway for the position if needed.  You think I’m joking.

Have you been to Sedona?  Who’s up for being my brother’s next vacation date?