Kaiab Village RV Park. It's a little too early to give it a 5-star rating, but port-o-johns, outdoor sinks, and pay showers are clicking off the stars pretty fast. Although, in the light of day the quiet and scenery are fast erasing the negative score. Big breakfast and we're off to see the GC, one of the seven wonders of the world. The day was hectic and relaxing all in one, a complete oxymoron. The roads were hairpin, treacherous and guardrailess. The only difference between last night's drive and this morning was that you could see how nothing would be left of you in an accident. Thank you. And before I try and describe the awesomeness and beauty let me just tell the story in my own words because this will be one everyone tells. OK, remember the guard-rail-less roads? Well apparently the GC keepers feel that all who visit will just use their heads and stay a few feet back from the edge. Everyone can get a pretty good view of it when you do obey the common sense in your brain that says.."pretty dangerous drop off." That is everyone except Mark and my 3 kids. I spend the entire day yelling, "not so far, that's far enough, get back here, stop it now," and at times even acting like a human shield between child and canyon. I say, unless you're going to start a studio and sell your photos, a picture from a couple of feet back should just be good enough! But at one point during the day I did want to go out a bit further and actually look down into it, not just out over it. So ever so cautiously I stepped down a couple of ledges to just peek over. In fact, I had a few "devil-may-care-relatives" actually say..."be careful, mom." In just a few short seconds I had had my fill and I turned to retrace my steps. I could have sworn that I had stepped down 2 levels but apparently it was 3 and suddenly everything turned into slow motion and down I went. Thankfully in the opposite direction of the GC. I used every limb and muscle to protect my camera head, and I have the bruises to prove it. The largest problem/scenario here is that Jen & Melissa could see me fall and started in screaming. Ben was a ways down the path videoing when I disappeared from his view finder and Mark saw nothing but heard the screaming. You do the math. But alas, my hideous fall did nothing to keep them all back at a safe distance. I fell in vain.
And let me just say that the North Rim rules. Even though we bought a T-shirt and postcard or two, it is very uncommercialized. Lunch at the lodge had breathtaking views and so-so food. And as if we hadn't had enough treacherous road the drive to Cape Royal was worth every twist, turn, and white-knuckle-no-brake-on-the-passenger's-side mile.
The August 23, 2005 7:01pm sunset over the grand canyon will always be a defining moment in my life.
And then ever so slowly, after a heartfelt prayer offered up by Ben, we crept back down the same stretch of road and headed back to our campgrounds which I affectionately give it's well deserved 5 stars. And the morning and the evening were the 4th day.