Experiences, Exploring Arizona, Another State, Another Adventure, Crossing the US Borders, Itinerary Outline
Dawn to Dusk

Our weekend away, exploring one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World

what a great weekend.

early thursday morning, myself, 2 of my buddies Chris and Terry, and Terry's brother - who i had not yet met, all set off for a weekend away at the Grand Canyon.

we arrived at the Grand Canyon in the late afternoon, and enquired about permits to hike and spend the night in the canyon. we end up deciding to just do a hike in and out in the same day as we couldnt get a permit until the saturday, which would hold us up with the rest of our trip.

thursday night we set up camp in the middle of the woods, id been camping a lot! but never in the woods, so just imagine the paranoia that i had about bears, with 3 guys who of course liked the make a joke out of giving me a freight.. anyways we cooked snags (sausages) on the back of the ute (aussie's slang) or aka the truck, and sat around the fire and talked shit for a couple hours before heading to bed.

some tips for camping in the woods and being cautious of bears -

- don't cook in the clothes that you'll be sleeping in

- cook away from your tents

- don't leave any foods, or cooking utensils which might still contain food on them out (we locked them all away in the truck, along with all our rubbish)

- have bear spray handy

friday morning, we rose at 5am to catch sunrise at the canyon. we rolled our butts out the tents, shivering away, and jumped straight into the ute and left camp set up. and there we sat, on the edge of the canyon and waited for sunrise for about an hour. gotta say, we had the best seats in the house - we climbed over the small, concrete wall and climbed down to where is seen in the picture below, this way we could have a much more 'full' experience.

we spent this time just enjoying the views together, and snagging some great shots of one and other.

if you're going to see the canyon, i encourage you to rise early and catch it for sunrise - it was just incredible.

- but gosh, did my heart race as i sat with my feet dangled over the edge. i did this for about 2 minutes, snapped the photo and went back to laying down.

rather than wasting time going back to the campsite, we went to a shopping centre, used the toilets to change and freshen up, and ate cereal in the back of the ute in the car park. we began our hike into the canyon around 9am and headed down the bright angel trail for the indian garden campsite.

the 3000ft hike in was expected to take around 3 hours, and 5 hours for the way back out.

the trail wasn't too harsh on the knees, it had multiple rest stops for each 1.5 miles, with restrooms, and water taps. expect to see and of course, smell the droppings left by the mules which also use this route. i suggest you take your time on the way in, and really take in and enjoy the amazing surroundings.. because by the time you're heading out, you're most likely going to be exhausted, and as i said the whole time for the last, steeper mile of walking "over it, I'm over it". so on the way in is probably the better suited time for photos. at the rest stops, there was usually some extra type of lookout you could go onto if you just went a bit off track (like the first picture of the 3 boys above), and the picture of myself below.

once we reached indian garden, 3000 ft down, we stopped for about 20-30 minutes to eat our lunch and give our legs a break. just before heading back up, just a little off trail we heard flowing water, by following the sound we found a small waterfall where we cooled down in. we began to head back out of the canyon around 1.30pm and much to our surprise, after attempting to power through back out of the canyon as quickly as possible to try make it out before dark, we were out quicker then we were in, taking only just over 2.5 hours!

Next stop, we headed to Lake Powell in Utah (pictured below)

here, we camped on the beach, swam, drove around on the back of the truck, and spent the night around the fire.

camping permits were only about $25 for the night, well worth it!

(pictured below) the morning view from my tent, camping on the beach at Lake Powell, Utah

on the way home back to Tucson, we made a quick stop at Horseshoe Bend. you don't need very long here, it's a quick walk in, admire the view, and a walk out. down below people were kayaking, which would be super cool! the drop was that big, that i had mistaken the people kayaking for birds until one of the boys pointed them out!

(pictured) 3000ft deep into the Canyon.

Chris, Tom, myself and Terry

Yew, what a must do!

- Paige

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Emily Paige Cocks