The GRAND Finale

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This morning, we woke up knowing We don't have to drive today. We don't have to pack and unpack. It was refreshing.

However, I will fully admit that I didn't wake up in the best mood. I'm tired, y'all. Needless to say, I wasn't moving very quickly this morning, and once again, Nora was ready for a nap after only an hour or so of being awake, so she and I snuggled and napped in bed while Michael went out for a little drive to explore a couple of other areas of the park.

On his drive, a coyote crossed his path, so he snapped a quick pic:

He also took a photo of the canyon in the early morning light:

And then came upon some mule deer:
Michael came back to the hotel room, and once Nora and I were in better spirits, we got ready and went out for breakfast. We took the shuttle to El Tovar, where Michael enjoyed a chocolate chip belgian waffle and I had a signature cinnamon roll. Good stuff.

After a quick pit stop back at our hotel, we drove to the Visitor's Center, where we caught an orange line shuttle to the head of South Kaibab Trail. We strapped Nora into the Ergo carrier again, and down we went, hiking down into the canyon.

This pic is looking back up the way we came down. The trail winds back and forth:


I don't know why, but this trail was tougher on me than the others we've done. Although the elevation change was the most we've done, the trail seemed to be cut in a way that was less steep than the one we did on Tuesday in Bryce. Maybe I was just tired from the cumulative miles I've put on my legs during this trip? Plus, it was hot. We had to stop and rest a few times.
We eventually arrived at our destination, Ooh Ahh Point. It's about a mile from the trailhead. The trail continues on, all the way down to the floor of the canyon, but that's about eight miles round-trip, and not something you are supposed to do in one day. We stayed at Ooh Ahh Point for about 15 minutes, snapping photos and getting a little rest in.

While Nora slept the majority of the way down, she woke up pretty much as soon as we reached Ooh Ahh.
Before heading back up (ughhh), Michael and I traded--he took Nora, I took the camera bag. I got to carry her downhill, and Michael thankfully took her on the way back up. It's funny, because we later ran into a couple we had passed on the trail on the way down. When she saw Michael carrying Nora (back up at the rim), she admitted that when we had passed them, she saw me lugging Nora and had said to her husband, "Sure, leave it to a man to make the woman carry the baby on a hike!" She was happy to hear that Michael had bared the load on the way back up. :)
We eventually made it back to the top (yay!), just as a woman was about to push a stroller down onto the trail. I was just about to open my big fat mouth when she asked, gesturing to the stroller, "Is this crazy?" Michael and I both told her yes. HA! For a second it seemed like she wasn't going to take our advice, but then we heard her tell her friend that they should come back later with the Baby Bjorn. Thank goodness.

We hopped on the shuttle (ahhh, air conditioning) and got off at the next stop, which was another overlook.

That's Nora as we waited in the shade of a tree for the next shuttle. *LOVE*
And this is Nora on the shuttle bus. *LOVE* again.

We went back to our room to rest for a bit. I fed Nora her food, which she gobbled up, but not without giving me this hilarious look like, "Mom--What are you trying to feed me?"

After we all got a little nap in, we went back out to see a bit more of the park before going to dinner. We took the red line shuttle to a couple of stops west of the Grand Canyon Village, and walked along the rim trail for a while. It was pretty bumpy for our Chicco stroller, though, so we walked along the road for a bit, too.
Michael snapped this pic of me as I stepped out onto one of the rock ledges to take a better look.

There's the Colorado River!

We ended the evening at The Arizona Room, where we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a couple of margaritas and some Southwestern-inspired food. Although the food was good, the service was a bit slow this time, so Nora was getting antsy by the time we left. She was still great under the circumstances, but by the time we got out of there, we were definitely ready to get back to the room to get her to bed.

Tomorrow, we're back on the road for our longest stretch yet--from the Grand Canyon back to good ol' Las Vegas.

4 comments:

Catherine May 16, 2011 at 7:40 AM  

I posted before about the crib concern in the hotels, and mentioned we are taking our first trip with our six month old son very soon. After reading your posts, we decided to purchase the Ergo carrier. Seems like it was a lifesaver on your trip. We have the bjorn, but we can't use it very long before we feel like our back is going to break!

It seems like things went pretty well with your trip with Nora. I am hoping we have the same luck. We are just mostly nervous about sleeping and getting naps in.

Eric's Mommy May 16, 2011 at 9:47 AM  

You are SO brave standing on that ledge. I want to see the Grand Canyon but I am really afraid of heights!

Heather May 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM  

@Catherine--You saw my reply about the crib stuff in the other post, right? Just making sure.

We love our Ergo. I have never really used a Bjorn so I can't compare, but the Ergo is pretty comfortable, even for long periods (you know, like our hikes!).

Good luck on your trip. It's definitely stressful not knowing how your baby will handle it, but try to take it in stride. (Easier said than done, I know.) With Nora, we did our best to keep her on a decent nighttime sleeping schedule, but with naps, it was harder. She rarely napped in the hotel room. Mostly, she got her naps during our car rides, or during our hikes. They definitely weren't as restful as her normal snoozes, but she got through. For her, she was so fascinated with all of her new surroundings that she really didn't have much interest in sleeping anyway!

Enjoy your vacation!

@Eric's Mommy--The height was a little unnerving, for sure. But it almost doesn't even seem real. Plus, that ledge was plenty sturdy. I looked. ;)

Catherine May 16, 2011 at 8:07 PM  

Thanks for the advice! I think we will be fine on our trip, and if not, we'll have something to laugh at someday. And yes, I saw your reply on the crib :)

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