I like to travel, and I’ve been a lot of places around the world, but my favorite adventure so far was definitely the Grand Canyon road trip. For a 10-day spring break trip in 2012, Ben and I, along with Little Bro Steven, drove west to Arizona so that we could hike and camp in one of the world’s most magnificent places. The road trip itself was a grand adventure, and the canyon was awe-inspiring. We took a TON of photographs, so this is going to be mostly a visual post. Enjoy!
Before we left, I asked a friend from Oklahoma where we should stop for some good food, and he recommended Oklahoma Joe’s, which actually happens to be in Kansas city.
It looked like a hole in the wall, but the line was long. We had some tasty BBQ, and they even put onion rings on their signature sandwich.
The first night we slept in the car at a random campground in Kansas. We woke up next to a beautiful little lake.
There wasn’t much scenery in Kansas after that. Pretty dry and desolate, actually. During a stop at a tiny cafe in a tiny town, we talked to some interesting locals, including an old woman recalling how dry it was back in the “dirty thirties”.
We continued on, and Kansas continued to dry up. To make up for the scenery, we made another stop, this time at Archuleta’s, which was essentially a nice old couple selling burracos and burritos from their home. Their grandchildren were running in and out of the house as grandma and grandpa chatted with us and prepared our burracos. The grandpa made an interesting remark after we told him we were from Wisconsin: “Wisconsin? You’ve got something up there that we don’t have here… rivers.”
Welcome to Oklahoma. We made any excuse we could to stop and stretch our legs.
We camped amongst the cacti in beautiful New Mexico.
We made a fantastic stop at Mal Pais National Monument. We spent the day climbing on the rocks and exploring the vast and unique landscape.
Woohoo, we finally made it to Arizona. As we were following along Route 66, we stumbled upon this cool mural in Holbrook.
We arrived at the Grand Canyon in the evening, saw some moose, and gazed upon a true testament to the power of time.
After eating leftover lentil soup in the parking lot, we drove deep into the Kaibab National Forest and set up camp for the night.
The next morning we unpacked everything from the Subaru so that we could pack our backpacks for the big hike in. We spent 3 nights in the canyon… looking back I can’t believe we didn’t bring more food than that, but it was just the right amount.
To the canyon! Had to snap a picture of a mule.
Hiking in the canyon was awesome. I had been to the rim before, but it’s such a deeper (literally and figuratively) experience when you hike the canyon. I felt like I was walking through time.
The light at the end of the tunnel! It was very exciting to finally make it down to Bright Angel Creek. The first night we camped at Phantom Ranch.
We saw lots of cool desert flora and fauna, including…
…a rattlesnake! It was right next to the path, but it was just a small one, and it was sleeping.
After Phantom Ranch, we hiked to Cottonwood where we spent the night. Along the way we checked out the beautiful Rainbow Falls.
We spent the our third and final night in the canyon back at Phantom Ranch. The next morning we woke up early and hiked out.
The camera battery died during the hike out, of course. During our ascent, we stopped at Indian Gardens and walked out to Plateau Point. Strangely enough, it started hailing on us as we neared the top, but instead of cramping our style, it just added to our excitement. It was so exhilarating to reach the top.
The drive back was also an adventure. We checked out Moab, Utah and spent some time hanging out in Boulder, Colorado with Ben’s friend Jeff.
At the end of the trip, I couldn’t believe how much we did in 10 days. It was an amazing trip, and I wish we could have stayed out west longer!