Vacation Adventure With My Sister

September 18th, 2008 by luann

Lisa & Me at one of the Grand Canyon View Points

My sister, Lisa, and I spent September 8th through 12th in a cabin at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  We had a most awesome time and I thought I’d share a little bit of it with you.

Day 1: We left Cottonwood, AZ (near Sedona) in the morning and headed for the Grand Canyon.  We talked and laughed and just had a great time as we drove along.  Actually, Lisa did all the driving which I was very happy about.    As we neared our destination, we saw a family of deer grazing at the side of the road and stopped to gaze at them and take pictures.  There was a small fawn and three or four adult deer.  They are such quiet, comforting, peaceful animals. 

We continued on and checked in at the lodge, got our keys to the cabin, and lugged our substantial amount of stuff out of the car and down to the cabin.  We had to make two trips and the air was so thin up there, we immediately felt oxygen deprived.  I’m pretty sure I turned blue.  Lisa is in much better shape than I am, so she merely panted a bit and carried on as if she was used to breathing no air at all.

After settling in, we had dinner in the deli, looked at the view of the Canyon from the lodge, and retired to the cabin to play “It’s a Pickle.”  I have to admit that Lisa whipped my butt in this game.  After she won the first round, I asked to go two out of three, after she won the second round, I asked to go three out of five.  She was so darn good at this game, she won five out of five.  We had so much fun though (I’m an excellent loser) – and we laughed so hard we cried.  An excellent first day!


Day 2:  We arose fairly early and went to the Lodge to have breakfast.  After breakfast, we loaded our backpacks with plenty of water and some snacks, and drove to the Widforss Trailhead.  On arrival, we donned our backpacks, locked up the car, and headed out on our 10-mile (round-trip) hike.

This particular trail runs along the top of the rim and we saw some absolutely awesome views along the way.  Parts of the trail were uphill, parts were downhill, and parts were level meadowland.  We stopped often along the way to take photos.  It took us nearly four hours to get to Widforss Point (5-miles in).

We stopped at the Point to take more photos, rest a little bit, eat some lunch, and soak up the incredible view.  While we were having lunch, clouds began moving in and building up fast.  The normal time of day for thunderstorms there is around 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  As it was just around noon, we weren’t worrying about getting caught in a thunderstorm.  However, we soon discovered that mother nature does not run on a schedule.

We spent about a half hour relaxing and having lunch and then headed out for our five mile trek back to the trailhead.  We weren’t even a half-hour out when the sky turned black with clouds and the temperature dropped noticeably.  Lisa wisely had her jacket on.  I, however, had my jacket in my backpack because my hot flashes keep me eternally warm.

We heard a couple of distant thunder claps, then a couple of louder ones, and the skies opened up.  Rain was coming down in buckets!  Lisa, ever ready for any occasion, whipped out her umbrella.  I actually love walking in the rain, so I opted for getting wet.  Thankfully, both of us had already stashed our cameras safely (and dryly) away in our backpacks.  The rain was great and the thunder added to the feel of adventure.  Very shorty, however, the rain turned to hail.

I must tell you that walking in a hail storm with no jacket on is a tad uncomfortable.  I attempted to tough it out, but it was like being pelted with stones.  So, I decided to stop and dig my jacket out of my backpack.  Lisa provided cover with her umbrella while I very clumsily retrieved my jacket.  Warning: in case you’ve never shared an umbrella with someone else – be aware that if you don’t get under it entirely, it will act like a rain gutter and allow the rain and hail run off to flow right down your neck in a torrent.

I got my jacket on over my totally soaked bod finally and we trekked on.  Now, when I had a hot flash, I felt like I was in my own personal steamy sauna.  The rain and hail lasted 20-30 minutes.  When we reached the trailhead a bit over two hours later, the skies were mostly clear again.  This was the longest hike I’d ever taken and the most fun.  Spending time with my sister, beautiful views, rain, hail, meadows, flowers, thunderclouds . . . what more could I ask for. 

We had dinner at the Lodge, retired to our cabin and played Yahtzee.  Lisa won three out of three games; and we had a blast.

Day 3:  Happy Birthday, dear Lisa, Happy Birthday to you!  Yes, this day was Lisa’s birthday; and we drove to Kanab, Utah to tour the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary – a place she has wanted to visit for a long time.  If you aren’t familiar with Best Friends, it is a “no kill” animal sanctuary which is fairly well known.  They took in many animals who survived Hurricane Katrina, a multitude of cats that were rescued from a horder in Pahrump, NV, and the “fighting” dogs abused by Michael Vic.

The animal sanctuary is huge and they care for a variety of animals which include horses, birds, cats, dogs, pigs, and rabbits.  They have a very large pet cemetary which is just wonderful to walk through.  It’s hard to describe – but you walk through and read the memorials to the beloved pets buried there, and you hear the soft ringing of the chimes that hang from the trees as the breeze stirs them . . . it’s a very soothing and peaceful place.

Lisa and I went on the tour van and saw the many cat shelters – huge indoor/outdoor shelters filled with cat trees, comfy beds, and places to climb and hide for the many kitties living there.  The one cat shelter we actually went into was for kitties with feline leukemia.  It was filled with happy, contented, well cared for cats that we got to pet and play with.

After the tour, we drove up the road a bit, still on sanctuary grounds; and we had lunch in a beautiful natural ampitheater with luxuriantly green grass and a visiting rabbit.  Then we headed back to the North Rim.

On our way back, still in Utah, we saw a sign for the “Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park”  and decided to tour on through there as we still had a couple hours of daylight left.  This place was also beautiful.  We spent some time walking a “trail” in the dunes and checking out the sights before heading back to the North Rim and turning in.

There’s more, but I think this blog is more than long enough.  If you want to see the some of the sights we saw on our trip – the Grand Canyon, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the Navajo Bridge, Lee’s Ferry, Dead Horse Ranch, and several critters we met along the way, just click here.  I hope the photos will allow you to feel just a small bit of the fun, adventure, and joy I felt on this vacation.  To my dear sister, Lisa – it was wonderful to be able to spend some quality time with you . . . the opportunity doesn’t arise often enough.  I love you and I’m looking forward to sharing more adventures with you in the future.

Posted in Family & Friends, Great Outdoors

One Response

  1. Rosie

    Luann, as you know the Grand Canyon is a favorite place of mine. I loved the pictures.

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