Day 113: Grand Canyon National Park.

Today is our official day to tour the Grand Canyon National Park after getting into town around dusk yesterday. The weather is definitely getting much warmer even at this high elevation so I can’t even imagine how hot it is at the base of the desert in Arizona. Ava is ready with her uv sunglasses and hat and even a couple of dandelions as mini-umbrellas for some much needed shade from this heat wave.

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From the city of Tusayan just outside of the park, we took a free shuttle bus that takes us right into the visitor’s center of Grand Canyon National Park.

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These shuttle buses are free with our entrance pass and they go pretty much anywhere you would want to visit on the south rim.

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We got off at the first stop to take in some more majestic views of the canyon. Mila thought it was the most spectacular thing she has ever seen in her whole life. All nine months of them.

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Here is Ava’s speechless face from seeing one of the Wonders of the World.

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Mila wasn’t going to be outdone by her big sister and gave it her best shot at that same face.

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We got back on the shuttle on the Hermits Rest Route that takes you all the way west on the south rim to, a place appropriately named, Hermits Rest.

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The gift shop at Hermits Rest is a remote outpost that doesn’t even have flushing toilets or running water for washing hands. It is the start of the Hermit Trailhead that you can take all the way down to the bottom of the canyon for those looking for a more exciting adventure. We stopped at the gift shop and looked at this cool, old fire place that once kept many visitors cozy in the snowy winter months before heading back out to catch the shuttle back to the visitor’s center.

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Ahhh! Here are the donkeys! I think they are actually mules as they are more rugged and durable for these trips up and down the canyon. Sorry Ava, maybe next time we can take them for a ride.

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We decided that we could only gawk at the huge hole in the earth for so long since we are not ready to take on any of the adventurous hikes on this trip so we stopped at the Bright Angel Lodge Restaurant for lunch.

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Ava must have been inspired by the amazing scenery. Check out the sweet rainbow-colored hawk she did! And she used the right color for the yellow sun! Nice work Ava!

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I also must give a hand to the masters in the kitchen of the Bright Angel Lodge restaurant. Look at this burger. It tastes even better than it looks.

We called it a day after lunch and got back on the shuttle to spend the rest of our day at the Tusayan campground to try to make some plans for the next few days. We are near the end of our journey and we don’t want it to end. But with the weather the way it is, we don’t know where we can go that will have bearable weather.

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Mila was glad that the shuttles have the air conditioning on full blast.

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When we got back to the campground, we had to figure out a way to stay cool. The air conditioning in the Airstream is fine but when it is this hot outside, there is only so much it can do to lower the temperature inside. Even on full blast, we are talking about maybe a 10 degree drop in temperature. That means when it’s over 100 degrees outside, we might be talking well over 80 inside with the AC on.

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I bought this fan on our last visit to Walmart to help with circulating the air a little more inside. It is nice because you can have the fan blow in whatever direction you want and the blades are tucked away inside so the girls can’t stick their fingers in far enough to get hurt.

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In an effort to cool herself down, Ava also found a new way to entertain herself and the rest of us. PARACHUTE DRESS!

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I think the heat has gotten into her silly head.

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While in Tusayan, our Sprint 3G card is once again out of EVDO range. That means the Internet slows to a crawl so we had to resort to other ways of connecting. Luckily for us, the campground has free WiFi. The only problem is we are too far from the office to get a clear signal.

Rather than sitting on the steps of the office sweating while checking email, I busted out my 6 ft WiFi antenna on a 12 ft extension pole. Problem solved. This little home made contraption has saved us from having to relocate more than once already since we incorporated it into our Internet connection arsenal.

Tonight will be our last night here in Tusayan and probably also our last night in Arizona. The weather is reporting that in next several days, we will not see the temperature wane but rather increase. Ouch…

dinner at the steakhouse.

For now, we’ve got dinner plans at the Yippee-Ei-O Steakhouse to keep.

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The girls got a table under the shade outside with some ice cold beverages to keep them cool.

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I’ve got a Lakers game to watch at the bar.

over and out,
dan

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