We woke up, had breakfast and then packed up our car to head out. We stopped to get gas and water and snacks. The kids didn't know where we were going but they were all looking forward to continuing on our journey. :)
hanging out in the lobby before we leave
Route 66 goes right through Williams. Everything was closed, because it was Christmas Day, but it looks like a fun place to come back and visit.
Excited kiddo's, going to the Grand Canyon!We entered the Park, paid our fees and traveled a few more miles to the edge of the world.
The Canyon is such a beautiful place. I was here with A. 6 months prior and the canyon had a completely different look then. The way the sun shines in created shadows and highlights, changes with the seasons as well as the time of day. Truly a spectacular site to behold.
That's a long way down!
J and S liked to pretend these view finders were machine guns. I don't know who they were fighting but they were having a very heated battle whenever we would happen upon one of these "guns".
Start of the Bright Angel Trail. Just a couple of steps further and it was thick, oozy mud. (we stopped here ;) )
Cold but bright! That sun was coming in at a wicked angle.
It was really cold when we first got there. As the day wore on, it warmed up a little bit, or we just hit another part of the Rim Trail where the wind wasn't quite providing quite the same bite! In winter, the entire Rim Trail is accessible (as long as the roads are open :) ) to private vehicles. During peak season travel, these roads are closed and you have to take the very crowded tram to get to the furthest part of the rim trail (anything past the lodges). It was so neat to be able to drive along the trail and stop to look out at various spots all the way to the end at Hermit's Rest.
Do you notice the light changing in the Canyon? The sun is definitely on the way down.
Mohave Point, the best view of the Colorado River from the Rim
Finally, Hermit's Rest
Once we got to Hermit's Rest, the sun was beginning to set. Even though it's supposed to be the most spectacular place to watch the sunset on the South Rim, we wanted to get out before the sun set. We still had all those hours to drive home. *yawn* We took some pictures, got the kids some hot chocolate and then piled back in the van for our non-stop ride back home!
Me and the Kids by the fireplace
Me and the kids by the Christmas Tree (just to prove I was there, since I'm the one always taking the photos ;) )
Fun photo of the day, drinking hot cocoa on the edge of the Canyon! This bench had ICE all over it. It was cold and slippery, which is why some of the kids are sitting rather gingerly. LOL They had wet pants for the ride home, but it was worth it. :)
San Francisco Peaks, glowing in the sunset
After 5 hours, we pulled into our driveway tired but happy to be home after a wonderful adventure away.