Back from the Grand Canyon

Picture: Layers of the land as seen in the late afternoon from Lipan Point, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Lipan Point, Grand Canyon, 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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6 Comments on “Back from the Grand Canyon”

  1. Richard Wong Says:

    God what an idiot. I wonder what his house looks like.

    This is an awesome photo though and glad you had a great time Gary.

  2. Ann Torrence Says:

    Your kids are lucky to have a dad who can teach them respect-for their world and themselves.

    You can’t regret time spent driving U.S.89 (well, I’m obsessed, but that section is particularly lovely to me). One of these days I’m going to camp at Lee’s Ferry just to photograph those boulders on the road between bridge and camp.

    Nice shot. AT

  3. Younes Bounhar Says:

    I choose to ignore the chicken story because it irks me beyond belief ,and instead just say that that’s one awesome photograph! Don’t recall seeing anything like it from GC.

  4. Jim Goldstein Says:

    Sad… still not as bad as the diaper in the meadow at Yosemite story. I really wonder what goes through people’s minds when they do this stuff. Likely nothing… which is part of the problem. BTW this photo you’ve included in this post is fantastic!

  5. Phil Colla Says:

    Every once in a while, a guy like this manages to do himself in and improve our gene pool. We all see the annual summary list: the Darwin Awards! Maybe this guy will eventually become a winner? (Hopefully not in front of his kids though.) The odds are relatively good at Grand Canyon if he ever returns, or with a bear or elk at Yellowstone.

  6. Jim Goldstein Says:

    Phil don’t leave out Bison at Yellowstone. Man taking pictures gored by bison in Yellowstone and of course the video they show at the visitor center with a tourist from long ago getting thrown in the air by a bull

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