Small hobby farms, especially one as diverse as ours is no doubt a lot of fun, but tons of work! I don't think any of us would trade it in for anything different, but once in a while, it's nice to "get out" without thinking about the goats, chickens, cats, garden, bees, solar panels, jobs, etc, etc, etc.
Our getaway this year was a quick trip to Grand Canyon National Park between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The weather at home was going to be mild (actually, it was much warmer in Indiana than it was in Arizona) and the weather during the drive nice as well. It was a last minute decision, but we've been wanting to go back out west for a few years, and thankfully it worked out. I'm going to dump a bunch of pictures here for you to enjoy...captions are below. Our trip in the Canyon included hiking down South Kaibab Trail and spending one night at Phantom Ranch Campground (at the bottom of the canyon by the Colorado River) and one night at Indian Gardens (approximately halfway up Bright Angel Trail). It was approximately 20F on the South Rim and 55F at the bottom.
A chilly start to our adventure. We rolled in, slept, got up and obtained the backcountry permit and hit the trail. We're all still a bit sleepy from the LONG drive out. Ice crampons were a must for the first little bit.
South Kaibab trail looking across towards the North Rim. Beautiful!
Goofs on the trail! Temperatures warmed up a bit, but the wind...!
We're expecting a stormy afternoon/night. You can see the clouds rolling in. Still heading down to the bottom of the Canyon towards Phantom Ranch.
So many neat rock formations!
The view constantly changes as you descend the Canyon.
Made it to the Black Bridge that spans the Colorado River.
Another half mile and we'll be at camp!
Full (-ish) moon at camp
"Don't mind us, we're just passing through..."
Home Sweet Home at Phantom Ranch
Hiking up Bright Angel Trail to Indian Gardens. Not quite sure what's holding all this together.
Such a pretty view as we leave Phantom Ranch.
Over 1,400 feet elevation difference between Phantom Ranch and here (Indian Garden).
Leaving Indian Gardens and looking up towards the South Rim. Looks like they had snow...
Cactus covered in snow
We're saved! Temporary shelter as we eat a quick snack and take a break.
3 more miles to go before we reach the top of the South Rim.
They survive desert sun and temperatures, little nutrients in the soil, less water, AND can be covered in snow. Neat survival skills!
Walking uphill generates a lot of heat...this is one way of cooling off!
Clinging to the side of a cliff and yet so strong and powerful.
Never just stand at the top, take a quick peek, and think you've experienced the grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Take a moment and hike down, even just a little ways. Get away from the crowd and experience it for yourself, with your own eyes. Breathtaking in scale, diversity, and resilience.