There's only one way left for me to view the Grand Canyon and that would be floating down the Colorado River. The 'hub', myself and our friends Steve and Vicki headed out before the sun came up yesterday morning to view the magnificent canyon from a place called Tu weep. Our journey took us 91 miles down a dirt road to the very rim of the canyon looking straight down onto the Colorado River. I drove our Trail Blazer w/Vicki riding shotgun. The 'hub' and Steve drove the jeep. Now....you've seen pic(s) of me standing defiantly on the edge of cliffs while the 'hub' quickly snapped pics in his attempt to get me off the ledge. Well.....I have met my match in cliffs. I must tell you that I literally crawled on my belly out to the edge to get a view of what lay below. My stomach hurt like it used to when my kids would get close to any ledge. Each of us took turns mustering up the nerve to get a glimpse of the infamous river and canyon. We were holding on to one an other's shirt tails, legs, hands, hair...whatever we could grab to make sure we didn't lose one another over the edge. We couldn't stop w/the gasps, oohs and awes at what we were experiencing. I only wish my kids were there to see it with me. Isn't that how it is in life when you see or do something spectacular, you want everyone w/whom you love to be there experiencing it w/you. After taking several pictures and being unable to wipe the smiles off our faces we crawled back into the car and headed to our campsite to start setting up our tents. The 'hub' and I invested in some inexpensive cots in an effort to get ourselves off the floor (also, because of the hole I punctured into our air mattress on last weekends camp out). What a difference in sleeping. We should have done it a long time ago. We took a short hike to another vantage point along the rim. This time we could hear the water and see its deep emerald color. For dinner, we had our own chili 'cook off'. I made beef chili and Vicki brought white bean chicken chili. Thank goodness for Vicki thinking to bring "Beano". The night would have gone a totally different direction if it hadn't been for those little pills....if you know what I mean. It was scrumptious!!! We enjoyed a beautiful fire and good conversation. Bedtime came early...we were all pretty tired. The 'hub' and I were awaken in the middle of the night to vermin rummaging around in our trash can. Not sure what kind of vermin....didn't want to find out...but it was fun to listen to the little critters working around paper plates and empty water bottles in their attempt to find a morsel or two. The wind blew off and on most of the night which proved to be a bit of a challenge to sleep over the noise of the tent flapping about. My favorite part of camping arrived @ about 8:00 a.m. the next morning.......good strong coffee....'now that's what I'm talkin' about peeps'. A nice breakfast fire, a quick trip to the outhouse and I settled in w/yogurt, granola and a cup a joe :) Woo Hooooooo. After breakfast we headed out another challenging dirt road that took us to the most dangerous and challenging hike in the park. It is called Lava Flow Trail. It is only 1.5 miles one way, however, you descend 3,000 feet in that short distance and arrive @ the river. We knew we weren't going to have time, but we did want to see what it looked like. The brochure says that it takes 2-4 hours to go down and 4-6 hours to climb back up. While we were setting out we met up w/a young man that was probably in his 20's. He proceeded to tell us that he was just now hiking back up from his journey down that began before dawn YESTERDAY morning. WHAT!!! AYKM! We all listened intently as he told the story of how himself and his boss got down to the bottom and his boss was to tired to make the trip back up so they camped out by the river with no fire (remember the wind was blowing off and on all night). They had a couple of thermal blankets. They actually ran out of water on their trip down, so....they were drinking river water on their way back up. God help them if their were any parasites floating around. I'm not sure I would've risked it. They both said that on more than one occasion they truly thought they were going to die down by the river, with little food, no clean water and in shorts w/just a thermal blanket over them. These guys were either really brave or incredibly stupid...you decide. I could write more about these characters, but....I think you get the pic. We headed back to camp, broke everything down after a delicious lunch and began our long trek back home. We stopped along the way to view dozens of petroglyphs. Funny thing, by the time we got back on the main dirt road..guess who was just passing by in a puff of dust? The two characters who almost died. They were barreling down the road in their Winnebago, hauling a trailer w/two ATV's. Peeps, it's an effort to get a regular 4-wheel drive jeep out to Toroweep....just another indicator of the mentality of these fellas..Did I mention they were from southern California? Hey Dude! We are currently making plans to go camping in Moab during Thanksgiving. I am so excited. It is an incredible part of Utah with so much to see. Possibly this time we will be camping right on the banks of the Colorado river. I should'a been a pioneer :)

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