The Canyon of Grandness

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Brad looking out into the canyon 

It’s easy to accumulate stuff and when you live in a small space, that stuff can take over a small space. For us, part of moving into a 5th wheel was to get rid of the unnecessary items we had and just keep the things we need and use. Before moving into the RV we lived in a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house and we had so much stuff! We had a guest bedroom that was only used a few times a year, a dining room we never used, a basement full of boxes, and an office we rarely went into. It is scary for most people to think about getting rid of all the stuff they are surrounded with as it’s almost like a protective wall. Those things have value and “one day” you might use it. But all that extra stuff can weigh you down and hold you back.

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Flagstaff. We see mountains! 

Getting rid of all the extra stuff felt like a weight being lifted from our shoulders as we realized how good it felt and that the stuff around us didn’t define us.

When Brad and I moved into the 5th wheel, we made a resolution that we would not get something just because we wanted it. Whatever we bought had to have a purpose. We made a decision that for the holidays and special occasions, we would have adventures instead of presents. The first year on the road felt like a big present as we explored and saw many new areas of the US. This year for Christmas we made a last-minute-adventure-present decision to go to the Grand Canyon.

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Two lane road to the Grand Canyon 

We left early one Saturday in mid-December but not as early as we’d planned as Brad had his work holiday party the night before and we ended up staying out late. We took a slightly different driving route from earlier when we went to Flagstaff, passing the off-season training baseball fields of the Cubs and White Sox, just to name two. Once we were out of the desert, we saw snow on the ground and on the mountain tops. A chill was in the air—40s compared to the upper 60s. After Flagstaff, we took a straight and narrow two-lane road for over an hour. If you have ever been to a national park, it’s the kind of road and scenery you become accustom to—deserted two-lane roads and rural surroundings. Normally as you get closer to the national park, you can start to see parts of it, such as tall mountain peaks, but since the Grand Canyon is literally a huge hole in the ground, we experienced more suspense on what it looks like. 4o2a5618-2

Once we arrived, we donned our hats, gloves, and winter coats and headed off on the main trail for the Southern Rim. We discussed going on a hike into the canyon but quickly dismissed that idea as the weather was not ideal. Also, the sunset is early in December, and we do not feel like we are in that great of shape to handle a strenuous hike. A 12.6 mile trail goes along the rim of the canyon, where parts of the trail are paved and wheelchair accessible and parts are for bikes only. A bus system will take visitors from one end to the other with lots of stops in between. Along the trail are villages and marketplaces for shopping and dining.

4o2a5608-2The massive canyon was shaped by erosion by the Colorado River over 40 million years ago and is still being shaped today. Every year the river shaves away 0.1 mm of rock, the width of a sheet of paper. What was left behind after millions of years of erosion is enormous rock openings, steep slopes, varying sized cliffs, and brightly colored rocks as far as the eye can see. At 277 miles long and one mile deep, the canyon is quite impressive.

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We decided on a short walk along the rim trail then took advantage of the bus system to see the rest of the Southern Rim. While walking around the canyon, we noticed a haze in certain areas. We found out that a little haze is normal at the canyon, but some days it gets very hazy due to air pollution. It got chilly and really windy by mid-afternoon so we decided that we would stay until sunset and then head back to Flagstaff for the night. We wanted to stay to see the stars, but it was such a cloudy day we knew no stars would be seen.

4o2a5633If you go to the Grand Canyon, staying for the sunset is a must. The hour before sunset, a soft, golden hue covers the canyon and the reds of the rocks really stand out. That was my favorite time to see the canyon and I think Brad’s too. Next time we go, we defiantly want to go on a hike and maybe a helicopter tour, if Brad can talk me into getting into a helicopter. 🙂 4o2a5629-2

The next day, we got our Christmas tree in Flagstaff at a small tree farm. There are only two times of the year I like snow—when we get our Christmas tree and on Christmas day. This year had some snow when we got our tree, even though the snow wasn’t on the ground we stood on but up in the mountains. There are big advantages to getting a small three to four foot Christmas tree—it takes less than half a day to get one and set it up, it’s easy to carry, clean up is super quick, and it takes minutes to get the tree decorated.

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Our tree 

Hope everyday had a great holiday season and Happy New Year!

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