“The Rock” where she got “The Rock”
So we pulled into the National Park along with tons of other cars and made our way to the Mather Campground. Heath parked and I checked us in. I had reserved site 199 in the Maple Loop and the ranger told me we had the best site in the whole park.
As we drove to it we found it was certainly the farthest from the entrance. It was a great spot, wooded, flat, smooth tent spot, isolated from neighbors and lots of nothing behind us.
It had kinda lightly rained off and on the way out so we didn’t really set anything up just got out and prepared some camelpacks and backpacks. We got Pumpkin and everything ready to go and gathered some firewood then walked up to a bus stop.
We rode a bus to a visitor center and got Peanut’s Junior Ranger book and looked at a bit of information on the canyon. Then we fought our way through and around some construction and to the rim trail.
Once there we were not at any specific lookout point but every few feet there was a hole in the trees and behind that a great view. We walked along, sometimes in the hot sun and sometimes it was cloudy and a little rain fell.
There were massive crowds everywhere. We ended up at a geological museum and realized the construction had turned us around.
We headed out to a bus stop and road a bus. While waiting for another bus we saw a sign for a kids ranger program and went to it.
The program was an hour long and about weather. Heath Peanut and Pumpkin went to it and KK, Chiaki and I walked to the rim trail near that and checked it out. We were in a much better area with way less people.
We looked around a bit and took it slow then headed back at the end of Peanut’s program. At the end the ranger signed Peanuts packet and we hopped back on a bus.
This time we headed East. We rode the bus to the second to last stop where there were no cars , less people and a hike.
The trail we got on went all the way to the bottom but after about a mile there was Ohh AHh point and a super view. The trail was almost strait down and crazy.
Going down was quick and easy but we knew the way up would be rough. We worked our way down and around till we got to the point.
We stopped a few times on the way for pictures of course.
It was an hour or so from sunset and the sky was perfect when we reached the spot. We could see for miles in every direction. Kentaro looked right at Heath and I scratched his nose and asked us to take a picture of him and Chiaki out on the ledge.
We got Peanut to sit down and got out the cameras and started snapping.
KK got Chiaki on top of one rock as he was below her on another. He snuck a box out of his pocket and presented it to Chiaki without falling off the cliff… and there sticking out on a bluff hundreds of feet above the Colorado River they became engaged.
It was pretty awesome and everyone was pretty excited.
We took our time and told stories for a while then finally had to head back up the trail. As the sun was working it’s way down we were working our way up and it was tough going.
We took 2 snacks and drink breaks. (we had explored through lunch and just snacked all day)
We finally made our way to the top.
We checked out a look out point up there then hopped on the bus and rode to the very farthest point. It looked to point the right direction and happened to be the next stop so we made it our spot to watch the sunset.
Once there we found out it was the best place at the park to watch the sunset.
It was really nice.
Once the sun was gone and light fading fast we hopped on the bus and rode it to another bus and eventually back to the main area. We were a little lost as first but eventually found the campsite and our spot. It was good and dark by this time so we rushed to lite a lantern, put up a tent and eat some dinner.
This all went really well. We didn’t lite a fire and had a weird dinner of snacks instead. We were starving and the snacks hit the spot and the celebration plastic glasses of box wine really made it perfect.
Then we all went to bed and had a good night of sleep.