Saturday, October 6, 2007

It's a Grand Canyon

(I'm the one in the orange shirt. I don't know who those other people are.)

We had a family get-together at the Grand Canyon this weekend. I've never been there before and it's obviously quite spectacular. I'm not gonna bore you with the details, but I will say a few things from the perspective of a person who's afraid of heights.

Are people freakin' nuts??!!

First of all, the Park Service. Most of the Canyon has no barrier to keep people from falling in. Granted, you can't fence in the entire Grand Canyon. But you also don't need to put in a trail and invite people to walk right along the edge. They post adorable cartoon signs along the way as a reminder, but I still think it's insane!!

I'll tell you why I feel that way. It's because of idiots like this guy:

We saw people all over the place sitting on the edge and dangling their feet. We saw others navigating trails into the Canyon that weren't actual trails.

We saw two groups of "suicidal" people who stood out: Two women dressed in costume, going down a trail in HIGH HEELS!

And later, two "men" climbing a dead tree right on the edge of the rim. My sisters and I enjoyed taking their pictures so we would have the last photos of them alive. (ha)

What's interesting is that we learned that few people die from a fall at the Grand Canyon. Most deaths are due to heat exhaustion. People head out on a trial unprepared with little water & food.

They underestimate how long the hike will take or overestimate how much their bodies can take. We spoke to a Park Ranger who said they, "lost eight people THIS YEAR," because of just that.

Well, we survived. We watched our footing. We carried water and snacks. We had respect for the wildlife. But, most importantly, we stayed close to the gift shops and restaurants!

It was really fun meeting up with (most of) the family at a new place. We've never done that before, but I'd like to do it again. A big Thank You to my sister, Nancy, for making it happen.

Some random photos:

A condor:

My sister, Cathy, and her husband, Bruce, looking at...
...this deer!


Nora said...

Those pictures are gorgeous!! Next September I am going to be one of those "freakin' nuts". I am going to hike down Grand Canyon, spend the night and then climb back up!! (with my sister and friends) The pictures make me a little nervous .... i will start serious training NOW .... YIKES

caryl said...

Oh, Nora, you'll be fine!! It was the crazy people dancing around on the rim that made me nervous.

Hey! Wait a minute! Next September? You're supposed to come to my house for my birthday. Better reschedule. (ha)

Sunny said...

Great Condor photo! I've visited the Canyon twice now, last time two years ago for the same reason you did - family reunion. It is amazing.

I bought a book telling tales of folks who've had experiences going over the edge who survived. The two ladies in the costumes, man, WTF.

jan.noel said...

Great photos Caryl! I'm green with envy. Condor is magnificant - notice the A4 on it's wings???

caryl said...

Jan, I did NOT notice the A4 on the condor's wings! It perched on the railing and we got quite close. We could see that it was tagged, so that's what we're seeing in the photo.

IMJ said...

Holy cow! Those are beautiful and almost unbelievable pictures. You should have been a photographer, or a writer, or something like that! Thanks for sharing. Your family looks great. And for Nora, no going there in Sept of next year. It is Texas that we are going!

Chicken & Waffles said...

Your pictures are absolutely, freaking spectacular. Glorious, my dear.