Picture: Layers of the land as seen in the late afternoon from Lipan Point, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
It’s been a couple days now since I got home from the Grand Canyon. I’m still playing Daddy Day-Care for the remainder of this week, which explains the delay in my posting this.
I wanted to call this post, “Tourists are Idiots”, but since I was primarily playing tourist on this trip, I didn’t want to paint myself with such an accurate label. I had another idea for a good post title, but I’ll save that for a few moments.
This was a special trip for me, in that it was the first time I spent a week traveling with my kids, without my wife, and previous to this, I don’t think my wife has spent any more than three days away from her offspring. Of course, they’re all used to me being gone for a week or two at a time, but this was quite the roll reversal. I will say right off the bat that the three of us had a great time, the kids were 97% well-behaved, which happily exceeded my expectations.
We spent three days camping at the South Rim of the Grand Central, err… Grand Canyon. My son, Brandon, kept saying he wanted to go swim in the Colorado River. Since we weren’t prepared or in-shape enough to hike down, I drove them to Lees Ferry for an afternoon swim in the surprisingly cold waters before driving the 125 miles back to camp. I’ve never had to, nor do I ever plan to drive over 200 miles to take my kids swimming again. But the benefits were that the kids got to see a good look at some of the Navajo Nation lands.
The only downer on the whole trip was the impetus for the second title thought; “How many chicken bones does it take to fill the Grand Canyon?” On one of the evenings when my kids and I were taking sunset photos right near the El Tovar Lodge, we came across a family having a picnic dinner right on the edge of an overhanging rock. The dad, munching away on his chicken pieces made a show out of hurling his eaten chicken bones over the edge like it was a huge garbage can. Let’s all say it together: “What an Idiot!” It reminded me of the time I saw a woman feeding an animal five feet away from a “do not feed the animals” sign, or the driver that stops traffic by parking their car smack in the middle of the road to take a picture of a deer.
Oh well. I hope the take-away lesson for my kids was how to be a responsible and respectful tourist, and as always, teach them about the importance of minimal impact on the landscape.
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