Being afraid of heights my entire life, I was a little apprehensive about visiting the Grand Canyon with three small kids. When we first arrived at the canyon we were near the main visitor center and there were guard rails up. I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed the half a mile of rail. Then it ended and we were on the edge of a cliff with a drop several thousand feet. Sarah of course had no fear and was perfectly at ease going up to the edge. Luckily the kids listened to their crazy daddy and made sure they were not too close to the edge. The only time one of them even came close was right after a ranger talk when we met a family from the east coast doing the same thing we are. I looked over and Trip was a little too close for comfort and the other family’s dad thanked me for having him come stand right by me. Apparently he was also getting a little nervous about how close Trip was to the edge. Even with my fear of heights, the Grand Canyon was an amazing place to visit, pictures just can’t show how epic and majestic it is in real life.
Sarah found a camp half an hour from the main visitor center that was called Bedrock and had a Flintstones theme. This place was built by someone who loved the Flintstones in the 70’s. It is a bit run down now, but the prices were great and the kids really got a kick out of it. Miles is a huge Flintstones fan and everyone enjoyed the amusement park. They had the first season of the Flintstones running and we sat multiple times to enjoy the show in the theater. The huge snake tunnel was a hit and so was the large dinosaur slide. We probably spent three or four hours wandering around and letting the kids play. The major downside to the camp was the goat heads, but we had those in Dayton and even the kids know how to manage them without getting hurt. They had water issues while we were there, but the National Park has water stations to fill up and we used our two six gallon jugs. With the friendly staff and good prices, we would stay here again if in the area even if it has seen better days.
The Grand Canyon is a popular park and like Yellowstone it was extremely busy. We prefer the less commercialized parks, but it was such an amazing view it was worth the unruly crowds. In other parks the people will let you take a photo, but the Grand Canyon crowd just walked right into your shot without a second thought. Good thing we are patient people. Also these crowds seem to show no common sense. They were getting really close to the mule deer and walking out past the walls right to the edge of the canyon with high heels or standing on one foot with their eyes closed. It’s no wonder people fall off every year!
The family we met was super nice and I wish we were going in the same direction. I have been hoping to befriend another family on an adventure to share the trials and tribulations of the road with. This family started in Georgia and was heading west though on the opposite path that we are on. We still got to swap some info and enjoyed the half an hour we spent talking each other up. Maybe our paths will cross again down the road. You never know what life will bring you when you allow it.
When we started our adventure I had decided to take the kids on a boat, a train, a surrey bike and a helicopter ride. The helicopter ride will have to wait because I looked into one when we were up north and they are really, really expensive. When we were in Michigan we went on the ferry to see Mackinaw Island. I am still looking for a great spot to rent a surrey bike. After researching on the internet to find a great train we settled on the Grand Canyon Railway. The train ride provides a unique experience with entertainers and even a robbery. Although it cost way more then we normally spend on activities, the kids and adults had a blast. Trip’s eyes were huge when the robbers boarded the train and ‘robbed’ us. Journey danced with the train cars attendant. Both Miles and Journey helped an entertainer play music and congaed up and down the aisle. I bought a few of his Cd’s and Journey sings his songs now! Fun times in Arizona, but like always the road beckons.