Ok. Now that the kiddies have been settled and watered, everyone has gone to the bathroom, sunscreen and bug spray applied, its time to actually get out and enjoy the hike. The El Tovar trail provides options for all types of hikers, it also provides a smoother path to accommodate wheelchairs and also strollers. This trail is your introduction to the Grand Canyon, for those looking for the experience of a leisure stroll while glancing over at the magnificence of nature.
What You Will See
As you walk you will see small copper coins on the trail, that is the timeline of geology. Find your age as you walk.
Animals Along The Trail
Just as you will see squirrels monopolizing the time and attention from tourist, if you take a moment to look up you will most likely see and hear the sounds of birds. Not sure if what I saw was a California Condor, but whatever it was it was spectacular. I would also suggest you are aware of your surroundings especially in the rocks and unpaved areas, snakes and also scorpion warnings are posted. This is another reason that a good pair of tennis shoes or hiking books are a must. Killing a snake with a flip flop just might not cut it.
Rocks Rocks Rocks
Rocks aren’t just rocks. As you hike you will see rocks of all sizes and shades. Take a few seconds to read the captions, and appreciate their beauty. You will also find charts that explain the different layers of the earth the shades represent. As usual I get caught up trying to read and absorb everything in the moment. I could have spent hours learning about rocks. As incredible as the sights are, I am always interested in the how and why we are at that specific point in time.
Yes it is summertime but this trip also provided several opportunities for kiddies of all ages to be excited about what they were seeing and learning. Allow them a few moments to look through the telescopes, and read the information along the trail. I would also say this is a great field trip location but I would recommend additional chaperones with the close proximity to the edge for students who require additional assistance simply for safety. The kiddies were fully engaged for the day, they enjoyed the trail, walked at their own pace and were captivated by the sights.
Native Gems & Treasures
We were blessed to experience a Navajo Hoop Dance as well as a song honoring the ancestors. No words can explain, simply beautiful, and the sound of the words with the drums was very calming. Stop into the Hopi House and cherish the handmade treasures of the Native tribes. Don’t haggle about prices, if you can’t afford something, find something you can afford. I don’t believe you should ask artists to diminish the value of their craft, simply support based on your financial ability. The pottery captivated me, needless to say that is where my money was spent. Be very careful with small children in Hopi House, there are several items of value that can easily be broken if you aren’t paying attention. There is also a lot of history decorating the walls and on little note cards (these are free) all over. For items that I could not afford but that I wanted to know more about I grabbed a card. If you are a book lover as I am, this is a great place to grab a book on the tribes that lived and currently live in close proximity to the Canyon. You can also find a free copy of the Navajo-Hopi Observer and see what is going on in the communities daily.
Hear Smell Feel
Most often when I am traveling I like to be in tuned with what I hear, smell and how I feel in different moments and their significance. On this day amidst the tourist I heard above all, silence. Yes I heard the sounds of others talking, different languages spoken, and laughter, but most of all it was silent. The beauty of that silence allowed me to tune into the sound of birds soaring, scavenging and seeking food, with all the other chatter that is what I heard clearly. The silence of nature reminds us of all the clutter that clouds our brain on a daily basis, and truthfully it’s a distraction and prevents us from creative development and deeper emotional connections. In those special moments I embrace the silence and am grateful for the opportunity to think clearly.
The smell of pollution was missing, being up 7000 feet, you can’t help opening up the lungs and breathing deeply. Surprisingly the lack of poluutants in the air is invgorating, you can smell the trees, the flowers, the animals and it gives you the energy to keep moving and smiling.
Most importantly I felt filled with gratitude and love. When people take time to add value through experiences to your life its special. To have the opportunity to visit friends, who take time to enrich you culturally, and more importantly drive hours to take you to see one of the wonders of the world, what else can you be but blessed. So many times we get caught up in going, going, going, we don’t spend a second enjoying the exact place that we are. I ended the day a few shades darker, my wallet significantly lighter, and with a wealth of knowledge from a first hand experience that I didn’t have the day before.
Enjoy the moments that are special because life is to be lived with those you love! Yea I was really Un-Nerved!