Headed South

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The gorgeous storm had brought with it an almighty gale and the yurt, parked right on the ledge of the mesa was wrapped in the sounds of a heavy storm. All night I dreamed that there was a yurt next door that lost its roof to the storm and I slept in fits, wondering if our own yurt would be subject to the same fate. Thankfully, dawn eventually arrived and everything was still standing.

Unfortunately, the rain had also set in and since we had two small passenger cars with us, we were more than eager to get on the road before the rustic roads turned into mud pits. We forwent breakfast, opting for frenzied packing and cleaning instead. We were on the road by 7:15 AM.

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If anything, the rain only served to reduce the dust on the road and before long we were headed south toward Ben’s grandpa’s house in Arizona. We drove over a tall mountain pass where the rain turned to snow, and then as we came down the other side, the weather warmed up a bit. We stopped frequently along the way to admire beautiful views of red rocks and the Colorado River, glowing read beneath clouds dragging trails of rain behind them.

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By lunchtime, we arrived at the turnoff to the Grand Canyon, bought a new National Parks Pass, and headed in to see one of the most famous landmarks in America.

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The irony was not lost on us that though we’ve visited dozens of countries in search of gorgeous natural wonders, we’ve never been to the Grand Canyon which is about 8 hours from our house. The day was really chilly (the south rim is at 7,000 ft elevation) and windy, and we meandered the afternoon along the rim, checking out various viewpoints and noting that there were at least as many international tourists as domestic ones.

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From every angle, the sheer magnitude of the canyon was a breathtaking spectacle.

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As a final farewell, we hiked a ways down the Bright Angel trail, fixated on the bottom of the canyon which looked new from every angle. Then, knowing that the hike up would be much, much worse, we hiked back out, lungs and legs burning. It was  time to get to Sedona.

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