Andrew has mastered the element of surprise. I have always known he was good, but he really knocked it out of the park when him and one of best friends pulled off the surprise of a lifetime! After we left the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta we began our the Grand Canyon. We stopped at Petrified National Forest on the way and was worth the begging pleas I made to the driver 😉 We got to drive through some of the most beautiful scenic areas. The petrified wood was gorgeous. We even saw a natural petrified wood bridge. There is just something about natural bridges that are so beautiful and mystical.
After I took my 5889 pictured throughout the forest we finally made it to Williams, Arizona where we were setting up camp for a few days. I should have known something fishy was up when Andrew offered to check us in. That is always my j-o-b. But, alas, I was perfectly happy to stay sitting on my happy little booty and did not flinch at all when he jumped out of the truck and offered. Bye. As we were pulling thru the Grand Canyon Railway Campground to find our spot on one of my very best friends and her family (they had recently moved to CA) jumped out from behind a camper and surprised me. YALL. Cue all the tears and all the feelings. I have never been so surprised in my life. I couldn’t even talk – or move. I was totally shocked and SO so happy. They had the surprise so well planned and it was seriously the highlight of the trip. I could see every beautiful place on the ends of the earth, but none of those compare to the special relationships, friendships, and people who God places in your life. It was amazing to see the Grand Canyon, but it was even more amazing to share it with such great friends!
The following day we rode the railway train from Williams to the South Rim of the canyon. We enjoyed hiking and a picnic right along the rim. It was so much fun and the train ride was gorgeous and entertaining with a robbery and all!
We moved the rigs from the Grand Canyon Railway to inside the Grand Canyon National Park. It was gorgeous! The kids had so much fun running around and hiking. Elk were just walking thru the campsite like it was so no big deal. It was perfect. We hiked late one night to watch the sunset over the canyon and woke up early the next morning to watch it rise. The sunrise was one of my favorite visits to the canyon. There is such a peace in the morning air before the sun rises and the chaos of life starts. Ashlyn and I ventured up there alone without husbands or kiddos and it was so nice to just enjoy the quiet and beauty.
One day we took off and went on a family bike ride and rode along the entire rim to Kabob National Forest. The next day the Ward family joined us and we attempted to trek to Hermits rest (a 22 mile round trip bike ride). The young gentleman that offered us the advice to do that ride failed to mention, however, that 90% of the trek was uphill. Some point during the ride Andrew and Corbin got separated from us and in their efforts to find us they BIKED all the way to the top to Hermits Rest! Meanwhile, the rest of us had biked down to find them and eat lunch. No cell phone service makes for trying times when you get separated. Everything turned out perfectly fine though. Andrew and Corbin loved the time alone to bike up to the top. They even got a personal tour of a donkey barn while I went and got the truck to pick them up once we were reunited at the bottom of the trail.
The Grand Canyon is truly a grand place we will not soon forget!