Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Grand Canyon

How grand can the Grand Canyon actually be?  Surely it is slightly overrated.
No, it really is unbelievably, spectacularly grand.  It just takes your breath away.  Abe went to The Grand Canyon as a kid, but I had never been before.  It did not disappoint. 
We didn't spend a lot of time there-- not even a full day.  We drove to several different viewpoints, snapped several pictures and oo-ed and ahh-ed along with everyone else.  This is another place I would like to come back to and do more.  I would like to do some hiking, although preferably without a baby and when I'm in better shape.
I'll tell you what I most enjoyed thinking about as I tried to take in so much natural beauty.  I believe all of the earth is our Heavenly Father's creation.  The methods he used are what scientists theorize about, but it is his work, his artistry.  These scenes are so vast, immense, beautiful.  Our human minds can hardly grasp the massive scale.  And yet, he loves each one of us more.  These beautiful vistas are impressive, but we are his children and these things are made for us to enjoy.  Our value, our potential is greater than The Grand Canyon.
This was kind of a funny moment.  Abe stopped at yet another lookout spot, even though children were shouting, "No! Keep driving!" (they were hungry and wanted lunch).  We told them they didn't have to get out.  Abe and I hopped out with Peter and posed for a picture.  As the nice man was getting ready to take the picture, one by one more and more children came running, yelling, "Wait for me!"  The children just kept coming-- there were so many of them.  Clark was the lone hold out.
As usual, Cannon has been a lot of fun on this trip and kept us wildly entertained.
We stopped for lunch and bought lunch items at the grocery store near the main Visitors' Center.  Notice our resourceful use of paper bags as plates.  This looks like an absolutely awful lunch, but we did have sandwiches and fruit as well.
The weather was absolute perfection.  Bright blue skies with a slight breeze.  It did make for some squinty faces when staring into the sun for pictures.
I love that Faith found a place to meditate.  Truth be told, I think I would love to spend some time here alone meditating and praying and trying to comprehend the greatness of God.  I'm not sure that is what she was actually doing, but it was cute.
Now here comes the picture taking session that I'm not proud of.  Okay, that's not entirely true.  I am actually kind of proud and thought it was very funny.  Until it wasn't so funny.  Do not worry, no one was even close to being hurt throughout the following series of pictures.
Abe told Clark to go stand on this rock by the tree.  It was cool, because it looked like he was right on the edge of the abyss, but there was a rock ledge just below.
That progressed to this.  A little riskier, but still completely safe.
Not to be outdone, Bethany moved to a spot that looked even freakier and did her crane.  I'll be honest, it really did look like she was right on the edge, but once again, two feet down was a trail ledge that absolutely would have caught her if she fell.
Even still the illusion of danger was so powerful, I had to look away.
Elinor joined the party and we were having a great time.  So we decided to take it a step further.
 Ha ha ha!  Aren't we clever?
We're all laughing.  What fun we're having!
Wouldn't it be hysterical to make it look like Cannon is falling off and Bethany is dragging him back up?
No, apparently it wouldn't be.
We must have really given this old couple a fright because they were very upset by our joviality in the obvious face of such danger.  What kind of parents would let a kid dangle off the side of The Grand Canyon.
They did not pick up on the context clues of the family smiling and laughing and taking pictures of their child in such clear distress.  We tried to explain about the large ledge and the safety of all involved.  But it was to no avail.  We were branded awful parents who recklessly endangered our children.  Not a label Abe and I are accustomed too.  Didn't enjoy that very much.  I do feel bad that we gave him a fright.  His disturbance is a testimony to our family's newly acquired acting skills and just how real the scene looked.  Even still, he remained rather nasty to us when we crossed paths at the geology museum shortly thereafter. 
Was our behavior in poor taste?  Perhaps.  I know it is not nice to frighten older people, but at the moment it never occurred to us that anyone would actually believe it was real.  My apologies to the older gentleman.
 The sun was very bright, which accounts for the tortured expressions on the children's faces.  That being said, this was my favorite picture of the day-- the family selfie at the Grand Canyon.  Clark chose not to join for reasons I can respect.  I think we just make rather a scene wherever we go.  But as far as selfies go, I think this one is pretty awesome.

Want to see an example of a selfie gone wrong?

Prepare yourself for something dreadful.
 Wow, that's really something.  It would be hard to take a worse picture on purpose, much less when you're trying to look nice. 

I won't leave you with that image this evening.
We had several kids sawing logs shortly after leaving the Grand Canyon on our drive to Phoenix.  I thought this was sweet of Cannon and Elinor.
I usually ride back by Peter.  He's mostly happy in the car, except when he's not.
I feed him his food and provide him with a rotation of toys to play with.
 Peter has been very snuggly and sweet on this trip.  He's got lots of big people who don't have a lot of things to get done, so everybody is available to hold him and play with him.  Life is pretty good for him.

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