Monday, October 27, 2008
Special Thanks to the Stricklen's for their help moving (Steve, Emily), sharing their food(Hannah) and giant tv for the Amazing Race(Colleen). Also thanks to the Troy Soccer Club for all of their support throughout the season and not killing me for dropping out on them at the end of the season right before awards day.
The trip to the Grand Canyon was exciting. Starting off with the Wild West Show at the train depot we were immersed in the Wild West experience, complete with outlaws, marshalls and gunfights. We had the great fortune of being able to ride the train from Williams to the south rim. The train ride was hosted by Morgan on our car and she continued a dialogue with the car about the sights along the 65 mile journey. At one point we passed through the junipers and ponderosa pines essential for the survival of people in this region. Morgan explained how the juniper tree provided a hard wood for efficint fires, a berry rife with medicinal properties and the seeds of the berry which were strung into necklaces called ghost beads worn by newborns to ward off ghosts and othe ne'er do wells.
The train ride featured wanderng western musicians and a Cafe Car where you can buy snacks. The kids were fascinated with using the bathroom on the train. It was somewhat of a challenge to hit the bowl with the gentle swaying of the cars. The water was slohing around and looked like it would spill over the edge. We kept our feet dry so I guess someone along the way figured out how to make proper train facilities.
We reached the south rim at 7500 or so feet elevation and found Shane to be in a horrible state. We slowly climbed the four flights of stairs up to the rim while we were serenaded with a whinin chorus and tears drowning out "This is Stupid" and "I hate the Grand Canyon, why are we going". Only all the syllables in each word lasted four time as long as normal. Shane was singing the high altitude blues. Everyone around us leered at us and clearly stated with each look that we should have left this little guy at 5000 ft. As the rim of the canyon open up Shane's tears grew more frenetic and I feared someone would soon pitch him over the edge. Then he open his tear clouded eyes and saw for the first time why we had come. The expanse full of layers of craggy textured colors of rock blanketed by a clear blue sky seemed to instantly grab his attention and hold it. He drug the back of his hand across his tear stained face and said "This is cool." He didn't have enough enthusiasm to warrant an exclamation point in his quote but he was surely moved somewhere inside his oxygen deprived mind.
We stayed the day exploring, hiking on the south rim trail and taking pictures about every three feet. As the sun slid across the sky the shadows changed and we would take another picture. We only saw a tiny fraction of the canyon and within this small fraction we were amazed by the variety of views.
We hope to plan another trip back and we know how these things go. Hopefully we'll stick to the plan of seeing as much as our schedules will allow....We'll be in touch.