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As I said in my previous post, my father, my brothers and I just returned from the Grand Canyon. It was a blast – truly a trip for the ages. The trip was meaningful for two separate reasons. One, it was my father’s dream vacation. He’s always wanted to visit, and he’s always wanted to take a trip with his sons. To add to his delight, we took the back roads, ate in small dives along the way, and drank beers with the locals in bars most people would be scared to walk into to. It was right up his alley.
The second benefit of the trip is that it was a chance for all the brothers to get together outside of our hometown. (This is a goal of ours – to get together at least once a year outside the presence of our parents or our hometown.) We’re on year number two, and counting. These get togethers have been great at reaffirming our friendship, and making our bond of brotherhood even tighter. We are our own best allies. It’s important to nurture that.
So, as the trip began, we all flew into Las Vegas. We all arrived with a few hours of each other, and it didn’t take too long for us to check in at our first hotel – The Stratosphere, on the Las Vegas strip. This was as good of a place to start out as any. The rooms were only $25/night (thanks to Travelocity) and it had all the amenities you needed to have a good time in Vegas. We settled in. We hit the blackjack tables. Then took off for our first event – a helicopter ride down the Vegas Strip at night. I highly recommend this. You can find tickets online for about $60/person. And, the ride – athough short – was very fun and you get a view of Vegas that is priceless.
The next day was off to the West rim of the Grand Canyon. We setoff by 9:30am, and stopped off at the Hoover Dam to take the tour. Why not, right!?! This was totally cool, although the guided tour was about 20 minutes too long. From the Dam we headed toward Meadview, AZ. Along the way we stopped in Dolan Springs for some food and drink. This was an event. The food was failry good, but we had to walk across the street to the local biker bar for some suds. Althoug we didn’t fit in. The locals seemed to like us. Noah stepped right up to the bar, ordered drinks, then played a few songs on the jukebox which seemed to liven things up a bit.
After the drinks we were off to Grand Canyon West. This is the place which is building the Skywalk over the Canyon. The Skywalk is a U-shaped glass bridge which is cantilevered over the Canyon rim. This allows visitors to look straight down 4000 feet to the Canyon floor. Truly amazing! After a treachorous 14 mile drive down a dirt, rocky, unpaved, windy, bumby road, we made to the Hualippai Indian reservation ready for our tour. But, when we arrived we were informed we had missed the last tour of the day by 10 minutes. UUGGH!!! Before heading to our hotel we were able to get a few photos of the Canyon in the distance, but the sun was setting fast so off we went.
We checked into the Meadview Lake Motel. It was absolutely in the middle of nowhere! It was pitch dark when we arrived and it appeared as if nothing was around for miles. That night I had dreams that we were surrounded by the Sand People from Star Wars. But, when we woke we were preasantly surprised. It was a small town. But, this small town had a geogeous view of the Canyon. It was so beautiful. This is where we spent the next two days. We had dinner with the locals. Took a helicopter ride through the canyon from a nearby dude ranch. Played horseshoes. Had a cowboy sing a song for us. We caught both the sunrise and the sunset. And ontop of all this… we were the only tourists in the town. You can tell from our photos that no one else was anywhere in site.
Here’s a video my brother, Matthew, put together of the trip.
Yes, this was a trip of a lifetime. I was so happy to share it with my father and my brothers. Dad, Matt, Wesley, and Noah – words cannot express how good of a time I had. Love you all, and can’t wait to do it again next year!