Upon waking in our caboose at 5:30 AM, I peeked out the window to see frost on the ground! It was COLD out there. I cozied up in my bed again and tried to fall back asleep.
No success. Another early morning for Mommy.
Once everyone was moving around we started getting ready. The kids ran out to play a bit on the playground while Eric and I packed up and gathered some fruit and bagels for breakfast.
The weather was perfect for an outdoor breakfast and few moments of free time before our drive to the Grand Canyon.
Goodbye to our little “caboose on the loose” as the kids dubbed him.
The Grand Canyon was about 1.5 hours away, so it was already getting hot when we arrived. We stopped at the visitor’s center to enjoy the view from Mather Point first.
Tricia had commented in the car that, “I’ve seen canyons. They are all basically the same.”
But as she rounded the corner on the path and saw the Grand Canyon, Eric heard her gasp, “My gosh!”
As we walked out on the rocks (safely behind the gates, of course), David declared, “I think this is the most cool and scary part of my life.”
That statement summed up the experience for him as he was quite nervous about the drop-offs. I didn’t have to worry about him falling as he kept a death grip on me. I joked that he would keep me from falling.
Thankfully, the reality was that my kids remained very cautious the entire time. Daniel, almost 7, was the least cautious so my focus stayed on him.
Our plan was to take the tram to a few viewpoints that gave us Colorado River views. We had to modify the plan a bit due to some anxiety/panic that Patricia experienced while riding the park Tram to our first location.
These are the moments that you can’t possibly anticipate and you just have to go with the flow to work a memorable, fun and happy experience for everyone involved.
We all returned to the main junction and Eric took Tricia to some viewpoints in walking distance while I bravely took the other three kids on my own to the viewpoints we wanted to see via tram.
Tricia and Eric enjoyed the fresh air and some fabulous views near the lodges while the other three kids and I took the Hermit’s Rest shuttle to a few stops to catch a few glimpses of the Colorado River.
We managed to get a few great glimpses of the Colorado River meandering through the canyon.
We all regrouped alive and well back at the van and headed out to the Desert View Tower, stopping at two of the scenic viewpoints along the way. It was getting hot, so we were more than happy to skip a few viewpoints on the way to the Tower.
The Tower is a free attraction located at the end of the Canyon Scenic Drive.
There are great views of the Canyon from the top of the Tower.
Overall, we loved our time here! You might even say we “jumped for joy”…
Our evening ended in Page, Arizona with a brief night which included some downtime with wifi, a good night’s sleep, and hot showers.
Mesa Verde was just one of many great stops on our trip out west. We visited Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion, Mesa Verde, and Arches.
After our trip, I created a guide that includes everything I learned on our adventure to help other familes plan their ideal vacation out west.
For just $4.99 you will have all of the inside details to visit popular destinations out west including the Painted Desert, the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, Mesa Verde, and more.
You can read more here or if you are ready, you can grab your guide.