Since my last post, we’ve done a lot, which is saying something because we’ve done so much on this family road trip across Canada and the US. The last time I posted an update, we had to swap spark plug wires in the Pep Boys parking lot in Albuquerque, New Mexico to keep the van on the road and us heading towards the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon
We were so close to the Grand Canyon after driving over 20 hours from Washington, DC. It was a long haul to get to Arizona and we were finally less than an hour away. And then, there it was… the sign at the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Lucky there wasn’t anyone behind us because we had to stop and get a photo.
Day 1 at the Grand Canyon
I think anything related to the Grand Canyon is best expressed in photos. On Day 1, we mostly explored the area near the visitor’s centre.
We got some info about what to do and grabbed something to eat from the van before heading out to explore.
The Park Rangers give free talks and we caught one about how the Grand Canyon was formed. It wasn’t the Colorado River as I had believed… or aliens. There were actually many rivers and streams that carved the canyon.
These little birds came to drink the spring water. So cool!
But mostly, we thought the Grand Canyon was awesome.
And the sunset was spectacular, even though it was a somewhat cloudy sky.
And another amazing meal by Dong Eun to cap off the night.
Grand Canyon Day 2
We camped nearby so we could catch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. It was a lot colder than we thought but very cool to get an early start on the day.
A quick jog back to the van helped warm up Ethan.
We parked in a nearby picnic area and Dong Eun cooked breakfast outside. Ethan was craving hamburgers so it was cheeseburgers for breakfast.
We needed to shower and get some fresh water for Juju Jr., so we went to the camper services. There was an unexpected visit by the locals who also liked to get water from camper services.
When we pulled up, they wouldn’t leave. They only wanted a drink so there was really no danger, but we still kept our distance.
Hiking the Grand Canyon
Seeing the Grand Canyon from the rim is great, but hiking down is even better because you see so much more and can experience the Canyon up close.
We hiked for about an hour down and it took about two hours to come back up. Along the way, Ethan started writing messages on the rocks.
And we made sure to just enjoy the view.
Once we got back up to the rim, we tried to catch a Ranger Chat about the elk. All we got was to hold elk horns, which was quite cool.
Day 3 – The 1st of December!
We couldn’t believe it was now December. We’d been on the road since September 19, so it was quite surprising to see another month upon us. This would be our last day/morning at the Grand Canyon before heading to Phoenix.
It was another memorable morning, as we camped at the Desert View parking lot and had some company from some more locals.
Breakfast and then a bit more exploring.
And that was the Grand Canyon! Next up was Phoenix to visit old friends from Korea
If you’re just reading this blog for the first time, we are a family of three traveling across Canada (and likely beyond) in a 1994 VW Westfalia camper van called Juju Jr. Our son Ethan, age 9, is unschooling and so we want him to learn from being on the road and traveling. So he’s also now a roadschooler and we are documenting the trip and his learning on this blog.