March 29, 2009

Third Postcard From Swistle's Mom

So! I DID transfer the blog yesterday, as I said I would. I can't believe I followed through, but the evidence is right before my eyes. Anyone encountering trouble with the updated version? Anything look weird or not working or whatever? Not that I'd know how to fix it.

Third and last Grand Canyon letter from my mom:
Hi Kidz,

We had a nice final excursion today to an unmarked destination point D and P [friends who'd been there before] found in a guidebook.

On the way we stopped at a regular look-out point where there were more ledges -- however, fortunately with a sloped shelf that would break one's fall after a hundred feet or so, as you see.

Anyway, back to D's unmarked destination. We only found it by following the guidebook instructions, which were to first find a particular Park sign and then to measure with odometer 1.25 miles past it. We then pulled into a totally unmarked little flat dirt area -- beyond which was a locked gate with a sign saying "Use of site by permit only," which would certainly have kept me away, but the guidebook said, "Your hike starts at the locked gate." So we proceeded along a dirt road (well, a dirt swath wide enough for cars).

We walked on this road for a mile through woods so clean and quiet it reminded me of the Woods Between the Worlds. [That's another Narnia reference.]

At the end we came to a small clearing right up against the canyon rim -- with picnic tables, grills, etc. The guidebook says that after May 15, there might be weddings going one here, since the site is available for such things for a fee. No weddings today, but I have one question for people who have weddings in this spot: How does one keep children from going off the ledges?
THIS one, for example. I will say that beneath this ledge -- out of sight -- was like a STEP -- another horizontal rock sticking maybe 12" out beyond the ledge you see at my feet. However, beyond THAT was a several thousand-foot sheer drop-off. This type of drop-off was all along the whole picnic site -- no signs, no rails, no nothing. I'm picturing children racing madly about.

Say kids, why don't you go climb that tree there -- the one hanging out over the bottomless abyss?

Or how about a nice game of tag? That rock over there could be Home Free.

Well, anyway, I did spend a fair amount of time thinking how inappropriate the site was for a big family wedding. I showed Dad where I felt the 8-foot chain-link fence should be installed before any child allowed on the site.

The one disappointment we had is that there was a cool platform-like point of rock sticking out (no doubt where the bride and groom stand for the significant moment) that I wanted to explore, but unfortunately, some RANGERS were out there having some kind of class. We waited probably a half hour longer than we would otherwise have stayed, hoping they'd go so we could go explore, but they never budged.

Last thing we did was to walk out and watch the sunset from the trail. The wind had picked up, and we huddled back against the rock side of the trail. People were coming up the trail just under the wire before darkness -- it was nice -- not crowded at all.

The sun was setting from behind a big cliff, not over the canyon itself, but it was still pretty -- cold and eerie in a nice way.

Nice day. We're off first thing tomorrow.

Love, Mom


Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I'm loving your mom's postcards. Thanks for sharing.

jess said...

Your mom is teh awesome.

Jen said...

Your mom is hilarious! Thanks for sharing with us!

AH said...

never in a million years would my mother write such hilarious postcards... beautiful photos, too!

Kim said...

My last Canyon story: When we were there, there was a rickity little fence on the look-out, picture-taking area where we were. My parents were messing with the camera and my sister and I were wandering off. When they looked up, my sister had climbed up onto the tiny little fence and was peering over the side. I've never seen my dad run so fast. One would think, like your mother said, there would be more precautions taken to avoid children plummeting to their untimely demises, but I guess they figure it's not a priority.
I've enjoyed your mom's trip to the Grand Canyon very much.

Natalie said...

Your mom is a hoot!

I've lived in Arizona for twelve years and have yet to visit the Grand Canyon. Shame on me.

Also, I have formatting problems with blogger, especially if I'm posting pictures. I end up with a gazillion line breaks between paragraphs and the only way to get rid of them is to go through the html and do it. Is this what you are talking about?

Jewels said...

Those are some great observations. And I love her Narnia references!!

velocibadgergirl said...

Loving these postcards :D

Alice said...

these are so fun! i've never been to the grand canyon before.

it's funny, you and your mom have similar writing voices. it's not that i can hear you saying what she is, exactly, but almost like i can hear you READING it the same way. that made no sense. ignore me.

Shelly Overlook said...

Am I the only one getting a little freaked out about ever visiting the Grand Canyon? I've always wanted to, but now all I can think is "DANGER!!!"

Badness Jones said...

Your mom is awesome. And only marginally paranoid! I love her already - when is she starting a blog?!

Ashley said...

These totaly give me anxiety and no way in hell would I take my kids to the grand canyon now! Just kidding, but not, becuase I still wont take them till they are like 20, or you know old old enough to look funny on a leash.

Shelly said...

These are absolutely great. Thanks so much for sharing. I love the way she gets distracted by things like how to plan a wedding for that site. JUST what I would do. And how she talks it all over with your dad. He must be fairly laid-back and patient.

Alishia said...

I'm a Grand Canyon nerd because I totally know where they are: Shoshone Point! It's gotta be.

Lora said...

I might puke!! I'm never ever taking my kid there. Not even when he is 30!

I never had a problem with heights (or much of anything) before becoming a mom. I've gone soft.

Kelsey said...

I have loved these! Also? Matt is afraid of heights, so I'm guessing we should cross the GC off our list of vacation destinations. Maybe we'll just take a driving tour of Kansas.