A Travellerspoint blog

July 2011

Grand Canyon, Day 3

IMG_5903.jpgIMG_5943.jpgIMG_5959.jpgToday was the last day of our grandkids trip and we had lots to pack in.

1st off, catch the 8a.m. shuttle bus to Hermit’s Rest for the Junior Ranger/Family Hike. We haven’t been to Hermit’s Rest in many years and think that we just stopped and looked much like yesterday, but we didn’t even know about the trail so this was all new.

We got to the trail and found the ranger, there was only 2 other people, a father and his son so we were lucky to be in such a small group.

The Hermit’s Rest trail is mostly unmaintained which means that it is rocky and uneven. It is really a beautiful trail but steeper than the Bright Angel with many steps carved out of rock that are tall. I think that it would be very difficult to hike with a large backpack on. The trail does meet up with the Bright Angel but again I don’t think that I’d hike this one with a big pack on. The kids had no problem with this trail though.

We spent time at the Hermit’s Rest after the hike and were so amazed at the structure. It was designed by Mary Colter who also designed the Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio and Desert View. There is a huge fireplace that is lit, as per the staff, during the winter on very cold days. I think we will try to go there during the winter. They also welcome dogs during the winter, purchasing dog biscuits for our furry friends.

From Hermit’s Rest we thought that we’d stop along the way so that Christabel could finish up her Junior Ranger book. I had the big idea that we could stop at the Lookout Studio, we would enjoy the view and some coffee while Christabel completed her last page, a drawing.

Dale and I were sitting when Bel rushed up crying, she had placed her book on the ledge so that she could get her pencil when a gust of wind blew her book right off the ledge and down into the canyon. What a catastrophe!

I hurried Bel to the ranger at the Vercamp’s, now mostly a visitor’s center, thinking that the ranger on staff would help. We found Ranger Eric and I explained what had happened; Christabel had finished everything but one page including the Junior Ranger Hike (Charlotte brought her book along as proof). Ranger Eric listened to poor Christabel’s tale of woe and told her that it was ok. Ranger Eric gave Bel the pledge and the badge and we were able to obtain the Hike Patch after all. We got ice cream floats in celebration!

We then took the kids to see the Ancient’s ruins and Desert View before returning to the RV.

For our last evening I put into a large pot, sliced potatoes, sliced carrots, chicken thighs and dumped in leftover chicken broth. We then packed up a table cloth, napkins, our picnic basket and pack then took off again to one of the rim overlooks.

At the overlook we backed the pickup up to the rim walkway and put the tailgate down. We got the camp stove out and I put on the pot of chicken stuff. We set up our foldup picnic table, put on the tablecloth, poured some wine and enjoyed the evening. When our dinner was ready we all sat down and ate by the rim.

Wow, what a way to enjoy our last night together!

Posted by Miss Chris 23:43 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises grand_canyon nature hiking travel family camping tourist national_park rv outdoors family_travel grandkids hermit's_rest Comments (0)

Grand Canyon, Day 2

IMG_5890.jpgIMG_5889.jpgWe had planned to get up early, be on the 8a.m. shuttle to the end of the road at Herman’s Rest then go on the 9a.m. Family Ranger Hike down the Herman’s Rest Trail. Unfortunately we learned, earlier, that our campsite was reserved for the night so we would need to move.

The host told us of another site which was likely to be vacated but we needed to make certain. We finally saw the campers and verified that they would be leaving so went to dump while we waited. We dumped at a private campground and were happy that we were in Ten-X rather than have full hookups with internet and close neighbors.

By 11:30 we packed up a lunch, got into Grand Canyon Park, parked at the Bright Angel and hiked down the Bright Angel Trail about 1-1/2 miles. It was getting really hot so we just turned around after lunch but the kids had a great introduction to hiking the canyon. Christabel, the one who really didn’t like to hike asked if we could hike down to the bottom of the canyon sometime.

We took the shuttle all the way to Hermit’s Rest just for the ride then road one stop back to the Village where we hopped out to walk to the Abyss. The trail goes along the edge of the Canyon, some of it right on the edge.

We got back on the shuttle at the Abyss, tired but happy!

Posted by Miss Chris 22:19 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes grand_canyon nature travel camping tourist national_park rv outdoors family_travel grandkids Comments (0)

Grand Canyon, Day 1

IMG_5878.jpgIMG_5880.jpgAnother day of driving and we were at the Grand Canyon south rim. As the campgrounds were full we stopped at a campground just south of the park called Ten X. The campground host saw us looking for a site, we’d left Bel and Elias at one already. The host gave us the number of one he thought was perfect; he went and picked up the kids while we got into our campsite.

In the morning we went straight to the canyon as we wanted to eat breakfast at the El Tovar. When our boys were young and the farm was falling apart we went to the Grand Canyon and someone told us to go to the El Tovar for breakfast as one can find a cheaper yet just as lovely meal. We have always done that.

The kids were excited to go into the El Tovar for a meal but careful not to look like we were out of place. Bel reminded me not to look around too much as to seem as if I never go to a place so nice. We had a great breakfast, kids were convinced, once again, that they had the best meal ever.

From the El Tovar we gathered the Junior Ranger booklets and then walked along the canyon enjoying the views. At the lookout studio we took a photo of all of us, and found some books at the Kolb studio.

We had an early dinner back at the campground where the kids played rock hopping games and then a nice campfire.

Posted by Miss Chris 20:56 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes grand_canyon nature travel hotel family camping national_park outdoors family_travel Comments (0)

A Day in Taos

IMG_5876.jpgI hate it when I’ve written a bunch and then it gets deleted. So I must start this day’s blog over:

The plan for Taos was mostly eating, the Taos Pueblo, The San Francisco de Asis and more eating. We have been to Taos many times and had our favorite restaurants, but as we all know, things change.

We had to check in at the office so I asked the person running the campground where to find the best sopapillas was. Unfortunately the place we’d always gone had changed hands and was no longer the best. She reported that the best place now is El Taoseno. We went to El Taoseno and found a very authentic restaurant, nothing fancy at all. We asked for the sopapillas but they were not serving them until 11:30a.m. The waitress asked the cook who did make them for our grandkids. I ordered chili stew which was some of the best I’ve had since “The Shed”.

We were able to get into the Taos Pueblo and spent a couple of hours wondering around. Dale and I have wonderful memories of Christmas Eve there years ago but it was nice to wonder at our leisure. This pueblo has been in existence for over 1000 years and people live much the same now. The council has decided to rebuild those homes which have fallen into disrepair so it was interesting to see how the building proceeds. I paid the extra fee to take photos but agreed to not use the photos except for my own use so cannot post any here.

We did do a short visit to the San Francisco de Asis, those of you who have visited us know that I have photographed this church. As a storm was approaching we did not spend much time and I don’t know if the kids took an interest in it.

The staff at the campground had made a recommendation for a place to eat great blue corn enchiladas at Orlando’s. This does not sound like a New Mexico name but the place is great! It is a very small restaurant, 2 rooms with limited tables and outdoor seating. Kids were very impressed too.

From the restaurant we found that we were close to the Rio Grande. If you have never crossed over the Rio Grande just outside of Taos, this is another must do. The gorge is a couple of hundred feet deep with the river running thru it. The bridge has walkways on both sides of the road and a lookout in the center. There was a full moon so we were able to see the river by the light of the moon giving it a different effect than in the day.

Posted by Miss Chris 07:11 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes food road_trip travel vacation family taos rio_grande family_travel grandkids san_francisco_de_asis taos_pueblo Comments (0)

Trying to Get to Taos

We love Taos, we’ve even looked at moving to Taos or Santa Fe, it is a place we escape to when we can take a break. Taos not only has wonderful food but just an atmosphere about it, artistic and holistic. We wanted to share this place with our grandkids.

We started off with a bang, literally. Driving down I-25, just before the New Mexico border smoke started pouring out from under the RV. Dale was driving and I had been sleeping before my turn to drive. I woke up and was doing something or another when smoke pouring out on my side caught my eye. I told Dale “something’s burning; something is burning, smoke, smoke”.

Dale found a place to pull over on a wider part of the shoulder and found the rear right spring broken. This same spring broke a couple of years ago in the northern coast. At that time we had huge hassles with buying another spring and had to buy a set. Now we were glad that we had an extra spring along saving us the hassles of finding one.

Dale was working to get the spring off of the RV when another RV’er stopped. He came over and introduced himself offering to help. The man had been very ill and when his tire blew out was hardly able to change it. No one stopped to help him at that time and he vowed that he would never leave another RV’er by the side of the road without offering to help. What a great philosophy!

After Dale and our new friend worked for probably an hour we were ready to head on down the road again. We gave him a bottle of wine from our collection and we were on our way to Taos.

We arrived at the campground lots later than we had hoped and needed to start immediately on dinner. Charlotte wanted to BBQ some cod and steam some potatoes. We formed our plan to get everything done as quickly as possible.

Dale started a fire in the BBQ and it was about ready for the fish when a camper came by. He told us that there were no fires allowed at all, signs were all over stating that fact. That may have been true but we didn’t see any signs but then we were not paying attention to anything other than the fact we needed to get dinner on. The camper went on to tell Dale that if Dale were caught with the fire we would be fined or that he would be jailed. OPPS! Guess the BBQ wasn’t such a great idea after all. We moved the cod cooking inside and got on with our meal.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:35 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel driving rv Comments (0)

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