Climbing out of Los Angeles, the road took us east toward the Grand Canyon. We learned early on that food on the road is really challenging. Unless you pack a cooler, which we really didn’t want to do, the options are limited.

We ended up stopping at an In n’Out Burger on our way across the border into Arizona. I will admit it: it was fabulous. It tasted like simply delicious fast food. The menu gives you a limited choice of hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, soda or milkshake. They make everything fresh to order and if you need to eat fast food, this is as good an option as you can find. I enjoyed a hamburger, fries and a strawberry shake. Mmm…

I started to see some really interesting plants as we moved through the more arid regions of Arizona. I have no idea what this flower is, but it is awesome. Very “outer space” looking in my opinion.

We arrived in the Grand Canyon National Park just in time to get our tent setup and catch the sunset. This was my first time seeing the Grand Canyon and it was totally amazing. It makes you feel SO small. You can just see millions of years of time in those layers of rocks. We watched the sun go down and paint the hills red, with shadows moving and changing when the sun sank lower. It was incredible.

Camping at the Grand Canyon was really easy. We made reservations in advance, which was good since they were full when we arrived. The camp sites are pretty close to each other. We woke up at about 5:30 am to someone blasting “But I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. It was more comical than annoying, but that may have just been because we were in a blissful mood.

We spent the morning walking along the rim of the canyon for a couple hours. It was peaceful and quiet since we got such an early start. I am not planning to wait another 30 years to see the canyon and I encourage you to make the trip if you can swing it. For anyone who loves nature, which I assume includes you, it is just overwhelming and breath-taking. Click the panorama picture for a bigger version.

Later that day we took back highways that twisted and turned through forested hills. The road took us east to Oklahoma where family and friends were waiting.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson