Though we were all up and going by 7, it felt like sleeping in due to the time change. Headed back into the park to meet Kerry's brother for breakfast, but first...
You could stand in the same spot all day and never see the same view twice. The angle of the sun, clouds passing through, the quality of the light, all make dramatic differences. All beautiful, in their own way.
Kerry wanted to explore this building - The Lookout Studio. What a view!
Though the canyon loudly proclaims the truth of the creation and the flood, for any who have eyes to see and ears to hear, we were used to the National Park Service preaching evolution constantly. But at Lookout Studio this little sign brought a welcome respite, and an appropriate response to the majestic view, beyond.
In case it's too small to read, here's the text:
Are thy works!
In wisdom hast
Thou made them all:
The earth is full of thy riches.
Father Almighty, wonderful Lord,
Wondrous Creator, be ever adored;
Wonders of nature sing praises to You,
Wonder of wonders - I may praise too!
Looking down on the Bright Angel Trail... not for me ;D
Kerry and George.
Tate found yet another friend... a very, very little friend. All I ask is that you wash your hands before breakfast, 'kay?
We walked up, along the rim, to the historic El Tovar Lodge. I read somewhere that the lodge was named after a Spanish explorer, Don Pedro de Tobar, but they thought people would misread the signs as directions - "To Bar" - so they changed the spelling to Tovar. While Kerry loves all things historic, especially architecture, I found this lodge very dark. The inside appeared to be covered with glossy black paint and... just... very... dark. Not my style. But the outside was appealing.
After spending some time with George, we parted ways. Amazing how the sun, higher in the sky, completely changes the look of the canyon. Contrast this with the pictures above, taken just a couple of hours before. Of course, this picture benefits from the addition of my handsome boys :D
We were waiting, on pins and needles, for our friends to arrive, or - as Tate calls them - my "computer generated friends". Q and I met through blogging, and when she heard we would be at the Grand Canyon she and her husband drove their family three hours each way to spend part of the day with us. Not only were we touched by the effort, and thankful for the delicious lunch they brought, we just flat out had a great time with them. Even when you've only known someone through the interwebs, sometimes you just know. These are people we'd love to have next door, or in our church.
Tate broke the ice with... more lizards, a big hit with the boys, especially :D
I think they're looking for more. Or maybe they were following a squirrel. We didn't feed them, btw, but they were fun to watch. We were warned that they are known to be aggressive and will bite.
Of course, we all found ourselves drawn over and over again to the view.
If we can just get the boys to lift their eyes from the reptiles and rodents... naaaah.
We drove east along the rim, stopping at several viewpoints. Yah, it's all the same canyon, but it's constantly different. Looking across at this rock face, Q noticed the shadow... looks like Jesus. Do you see Him?
Absolutely can not get enough of that view. And what a perfect day to enjoy it! Comfortable temps in the 70's and 80's, completely enjoyable new friends, and no crowds anywhere.
Mom, can we go out on that rock? By which they mean the pillar behind them, in no way connected to the ground they were standing on. Um, that would be NO.
Instant buddies. All of them. But aren't these two adorable?
And, winner of the "Boys Will Be Boys" category... Why walk on the sidewalk when you can walk on the guard wall?
As we got busy with lunch we realized that Kerry was really not feeling well. Worried about infecting anyone else, he retreated from the group. Unfortunately, he missed out on some delicious sub sandwiches and fresh fruit. (Thanks again!!!)
Wonder what caused that impression in the rock? Looks like a handprint.
One last view before heading out of the park.
At that point, our friends had to head back to Phoenix. We enticed them to stay a little longer, with the offer of ice cream, but they had commitments to keep at home. As we watched them drive away the boys said, nearly in unison, "They were SO NICE!" Amen to that.
Kerry needed to rest. He sacked out in the hotel room and I took the boys for another swim. We had thought to go back into the park for sunset, but time got away from us. It gets dark so early, without daylight savings time! And the boys had noticed a pizza place right across the street from our hotel. Yum!
Don't know what was ailing Kerry, but - thank the Lord - none of the rest of us were affected. Most likely it was a combination of altitude, too much caffeine, (too much restaurant food?), and not enough water. At any rate, we were thankful to be in more pleasant accommodations - the Red Feather Lodge, in Tusayan.
Day 10 Miles : 50 Total Miles : 2553