Rounding Third Base and on the Home Stretch
Trip Start Jun 29, 2012
52Trip End May 01, 2013
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Where I stayed
Anyway, Dad got back and we drove off to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is hands down one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. 277 miles long, 10 miles wide North Rim to South Rim, 18 miles wide at its widest, 4 miles wide at its shortest, and a mile deep on average. That's three Empire State Buildings deep. We also did the Junior Ranger Program, which was great. As part of the requirement, we went to a few Ranger Programs, they were all just great. We went to the Fossil Walk, the GeoGlimpse, and the Condor Talk. They were all fantastic. Just incredible. The Fossil Walk was all about the fossils to be found in the park. The ranger, Erin, showed us a bunch of different ones. The GeoGlimpse was about how the Canyon was formed, the different layers of rock, and the Colorado River. The Condor Talk was of course about the famous Californian Condor, which made a comeback from 22 to over 400. Some flew over as we were talking about them.
After the Canyon we drove off to Edwards, Colorado, which is a town in Vail Valley. On the way we stopped at 4 Corners National Monument, which I've been obsessed with since in 3rd grade Mrs. Heegan showed us pictures of it in a slideshow. Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah at ONE TIME. When we got to Edwards, we put our bags down and went to the Blakslees house for dinner. The Blakslees are the family that my Uncle Tony lived with for 8 years while he was teaching out here. They have three daughters, Annie is 15, Emma is 12, and Molly is 9. We had so much fun. We went on a hike one day, but mostly we just played at their house and in their yard and hung out. It's always fun to tag along on someone else's life, we learned that with all the families we stayed with.
From Vail we did a one night stay in Denver and had dinner with the Duttons. It was great. We played with the kids, Ella and Ben all night. The next morning we got an early start on our drive to Mt. Rushmore. When we got there, everything I've ever heard was exactly true. No one had exaggerated. It's the craziest thing in the world, looking at this mountain and seeing 4 60 ft. tall faces. Lincoln, Roosevelt, Washington, and Jefferson, carved into a mountain because Washington represents the birth of the nation, Jefferson is expansion, Lincoln is preservation, and Roosevelt is expansion. Pretty cool. We did the Junior Ranger Program there too.
From Rushmore we drove the same day to the Badlands. That is an incredible national. I wasn't as fond if it as Big Sur, but still incredible. That night, as the kids were laying in our sleeping bags inside the tent, Lucy and I were still awake. All night he tent had bulging a little inwards due to wind, but not enough to cause alarm. I was a little worried, but not much as I THOUGHT we had staked the tent. Between one instant and another, the wind was all of a sudden 60 MPH!!! You heard me. Lucy and I were holding the tent up, screaming for Sam to GET OUT!!! Dad and Mom were helping us. Finally the girls got in the car, while Mom, Dad, and I collapsed the tent. All the while the rain fly was billowing behind Mom, and the thought I kept forming was " Superhero ". Finally Mom and Dad took the tent into the ladies bathroom, disassembled it, and drove for two hours to an AmericInn in Chamberlain, South Dakota.
The next day we drove to Wichita, Kansas. I'll be honest, not much to say about that except that we did it. But Wichita was pretty cool. We ate dinner and left the next morning to go to Dallas. In Dallas we stayed with the Ggolias for just one night, but it was great. We played in the yard, another family came over, and we slept really soundly. The Ggolias are just such great people. This morning Dad actually left ( yes, again ) to go to Lexington this time for his college reunion. However, we are in Austin, my hometown, now, so we are PSYCHED. 10 days here will fly by, then like 1.5 weeks till home!!!