The ride from SoCal to Northern AZ was so beautiful!
I’m still shocked at how remote both areas are.
It’s so beautiful, encouraging and amazing to see God’s creation still mostly untouched.
We sure will miss Desert Hot Springs but we have to keep “open”, not holding on to any one thing or place too tightly so that we have room to fully embrace the next part of the adventure. It still feels a bit surreal we are doing this right now – what an amazing and undeserved gift this lifestyle-for-the-year is to each of us.
When we got to AZ it looked more and more like one of our fave movies, Cars.
Here’s our first glimpse of Rt 66:
And we were so excited to enter “Radiator Springs”:
We were shocked when we realized northern Arizona was mostly forest! It felt a little like “home” and familiar. It was so nice to see big, green trees again.
Our first adventure was a hike in the Kaibab National Forest. This forest is 1.6 million acres. <insert woah face>.
We truly love walking in the woods. This hike was especially enjoyable because it was just us and the Lord for miles and miles. No sight of anybody or a car or anything other than nature (and the little green diamonds we were following). Pretty amazing. We had a great conversation about amazing men and women missionaries. As part of RR’s curriculum he is reading about amazing people like Florence Young, Wilfred Grenfell, and Sadhu Sundar Singh. Walking and talking or just walking and being quiet as a family with the Lord are truly some of my fave life moments.
AB still struggles on the first part of our hikes but as soon as we are headed back, she’s like a new person. I think if she had a better understanding of the time, distance, and elevation change the hike will be, it would help prepare her. We will keep trying.
When we got to a clearing, we looked down and saw our RV park and Woody!!! So fun:
We found quite a few tracks – we think elk / deer and coyote !
And we found the tiniest bit of snow! It’s amazing how when you look at anything long enough it’s sooo beautiful:
I usually prefer to walk in the middle of the pack or front but I love the views from the back 🙂
God made these kiddos so beautiful !
I pray they will always enjoy creation and see the beauty He gave for us to enjoy that’s all around us!
Wednesday was such a happy day because GrammCracker and Peepa arrived to spend a week with us!!!
Isn’t it amazing how much slower time feels when you’re waiting for special visitors?
The kids said people must be taller at the Grand Canyon – these chairs were so big!
And finally “they’re here they’re here!”
I think we were ALL teary eyed.
We went to lunch in “Radiator Springs” on Rt 66 and saw our first glimpse of snow. I’ve never seen snow like this. It was like little styrofoam balls.
When we went back to Woody it was still coming down! Look at those chunky flakes.
Side note – our RV park for this month is right next to a train track, which has now happened to us multiple times, and we enjoy it.
We had a pretty sunset on our first night with our special visitors:
On Thursday we went to Walnut Canyon National Monument and explored around the Hopi cliff dwellings there.
Unlike Seminole Canyon, these cliffs were actually their homes and not just a hang-out area. They even had walls and doors. We were surprised how many dwellings were in this one canyon! It was like a little town with passageways in between each dwellings. What amazing people!
They even made little holes at the top of the walls/doors to let the smoke out. See all the blackened walls from the years of smoke?
Arizona is so diverse! And in this area the desert / forest converge so on the “sunny side” of the canyon are desert plants and the opposite side are pines.
It was great to have Gramma with us on the walk and AB was so happy she could do a smaller trail with Peepa 🙂
After getting our Junior Ranger Badges, we took our Eagles fan down the road so she could be “standing on the corner in Winslow AZ!”
And then we were off to our 2nd National Monument of the day – Sunset Crater Volcano. This volcano erupted somewhere between 1040 and 1100. So crazy to think that all the hills and mountains in the area including Bill Williams mountain near where we are staying were all created by volcanic activity.
In a final burst of activity at eruption time, cinders shot out of the vent and fell onto the rim. The colorful glow looked like a sunset hence its name. Woops – I didn’t get a picture of the crater itself and the grey sky made the sunset colors less visible… but the ash landscape was very interesting:
As well as the “squeeze ups” – which were formed when partially-cooled lava pushed through cracks like toothpaste out of a tube.
It was our first time touching and seeing igneous/ lava rocks in nature. And if it wasn’t so chilly we would have stayed and explored longer!
This was also the first time we’ve earned 2 Jr Ranger Badges in a day. We are now up to 7.
We have really enjoyed all the Park Rangers we’ve met and we love this free program the Nat. Parks put on.
We have a rainy day ahead of us but we are SO excited that this weekend we get to see the Grand Canyon for the first time!
Thanks so much for following. We miss and love each of you. Can’t everybody we love come join us on this adventure? Even though I’m not much for selfies… if you miss my face as much as I miss yours… here ya go: