Day 4: The Grand Canyon
Day 4 starts early. Everyone is awake by 6:30 am thanks to a lovely 2 hour time change that no one is adjusted to yet.
We play outside with Lucy, the cat, and watch the neighbor take the goats out beyond their fence to graze on some fresh grass. He tries to catch a couple chickens to take out to the front yard to feast on the giant grasshoppers, but quickly gives up his quest. Those chickens are quick.
Our breakfast is scheduled for 8:00 am. Everyone gets dressed, and after cleaning out the van, and packing some snacks for the trip into the Grand Canyon, we head to breakfast in the main house.
The table is set for the 6 of us including a booster seat for Lucy. The middle of the table is filled with sliced peaches and strawberries, extra crispy bacon, deviled eggs, and 2 kinds of syrup. The side bar is stocked with 3 different juices, coffee with all the fixings, and a variety of cereals.
Ron, our bed and breakfast host, brings out stack after stack of thin pancakes with slightly crispy edges that my kiddos gobble up, and Sherry busies herself making chocolate milk for Addy and Wyatt. We feel more than spoiled by their hospitality.
As each babe finishes up breakfast, they slowly begin to wander outside and back towards our cabin where we will load up and head to the Grand Canyon. You can take a train ride from Williams into the Canyon. It’s something we’ve heard amazing things about and seriously considered, but because we aren’t sure about Lucy’s nap schedule or when we’ll be ready to come back to the cabin, we opt to just drive over ourselves.
But before we head to the Canyon, we head into Williams to ride the Route 66 Zipline. Even Wyatt goes up to ride! Addy rides with Wyatt first, then Brian and Luke, and then Addy goes back up with me. There’s a beautiful view of the mountain and the town from the top.
Then it’s back into the van to take the short one hour trip to the Canyon. We arrive at Grand Canyon Village and park.
The sun is out today in Arizona, so everyone gets a healthy dose of sunscreen before we make our way over to one of the viewing spots. There are lots of people making their way to the edge. As we approach the Canyon, my breath catches. The closer I get and the more and more I see of it, my eyes fill with tears. I’m completely taken aback.
I knew it would be beautiful, but I had no idea I would be so stunned by it. The colors, the width, depth, the vastness of it, it’s so much to take in. I try to snap a pictures of it, but I really just want to stand here, alone, without all these people and reveal in the beauty of this space.
We make our way to the farthest point to take an obligatory family Grand Canyon picture, but it’s crowded and hot here and everyone is getting cranky and hungry, so we snap our picture and head back towards the Visitor’s center where we snag a picnic table and some sandwiches and chips from a little eat-and-run shop.
We map out our next plan of attack. We know we can’t hike with Lucy or Wyatt in tow, but we want to see more, so we decide to drive out to the Watch tower.
We head back to the van and load up the crew and start making our way towards the watch tower. On the road there are beautiful views of the canyon and several places to stop and take pictures without all the crowds and the fences. We decide to stop here on the way back out.
When we get the tower, Luke has a belly ache thanks to some motion sickness. Lucy is sleeping, so I hop out with the three bigger kids to make the trek to the tower. Everyone is a little cranky, and it’s hot, but we make the walk over to the tower and decide to go up.
The views from here are glorious. You can see the river at the bottom of the canyon, and this tower is pretty incredible.
By the time we come down, the heat has gotten the best of both of my boys. Luke is still complaining of a belly ache and Wyatt is tired of walking. I carry Wyatt back to the car.
We hop back in the van, where Lucy is now awake watching Moana in the back with Brian. We head back towards Grand Canyon Village. We make 2 stops on the way down because I just can’t get enough of this view.
Overall, our trip to see the Grand Canyon was a success. I probably wouldn’t even bother with seeing it from the 1st place we stopped again (at Mather Point) because the stops along the road are really the better view and have hardly any crowds.
I definitely have the itch to come back already. I tell Brian as we’re heading back into Williams that he and I have to come back. I want to hike down there and explore and see it from more than just the rim. I know we’ll be back. I can’t imagine us staying gone too long.
Once we get back to the bed and breakfast, we decide to cook out…nothing big, just some fresh veggies, sausage and hot dogs, with a salad, and fresh strawberries. One thing that makes me feel at home is cooking. There’s something about slicing food on a cutting board and the smell of a skillet or grill that makes everything seem completely normal.
This trip is not normal. Currently, we’re all still adjusting to being somewhere different every few nights. New places, new beds, new views. We’re all also passing around a little sore throat and cough which makes it even a little harder to get adjusted. Plus, everyone’s internal clocks are still on Oklahoma time, so the 2 hour time difference is taking it’s toll on us for sure.
But my babies love it here. In this little town on the outskirts of the Grand Canyon.
After Lucy goes down for the night, I take Addy, Luke and Wyatt to downtown Williams to see the Cowboy shoot out that happens every night on the street. We sit on the street and hear the story of an old cowboy shoot out and watch it being reenacted.
The small town feel of this place makes me feel comfortable. Even in our little 2 room cabin at the bed and breakfast, I feel at home. I think it’s the views and the front porch and the chickens next door that put me at ease the most. I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about this trip, the details, the money, the blog, the logistics of it all, but here, at the foot of these mountains, in this small little space, I feel at home and at peace.
And maybe that’s what we’re doing out here….looking for home. I don’t mean looking for a new place to live. Don’t worry mom, we’re not moving to California again. I just mean, maybe I’m trying to decide what home is for the six of us. I’m pretty sure it’s not a place. I grew up dreaming of the home I would raise my babies in, and the physical aspects of a home are really important, but I think home is more than the walls and the windows and the number of bedrooms and the kitchen counters. I think part of me wanted to know if home could really be wherever we were together, and right now, thousands of miles away from our physical home, this place feels like home.