American road trip 2011 D9 Bryce Canyon Grand Canyon

Just a quick explanation: in the summer of 2011, my parents decided to take all six of us (four children between 22 and 16 and two parents) on a roadtrip through -mostly- the West Coast of the USA. This was written as a diary at the time, so keep in mind that this was written by a 22-year-old who was blogging to keep family and friends updated on our whereabouts. Enjoy! – Camille

It’s the Fourth of July, we’re in America and apparently, they’re already all partied out. Seems they party the night before. So no fireworks, no party, no ‘Woohoow, it’s the Fourth of July’-feeling. Oh well, we’ll just have our own private party 😉

This morning, some of our jolly little group went to watch the sunrise. The sun rises in Bryce Canyon, Utah, around 6h15 local time, which is 5h15 Californian time and oh, about 14h15 Belgian time. Which meant we had to wake up and get ourselves (not entirely awake) in our car around 4h50 local time. But: it was almost worth it. Sure, it was a bit cloudy and sure, it was cold, but we actually saw parts of the sun in Bryce Canyon! Mum was a bit unhappy because we wanted to go back to our warm beds, but in the end she agreed and off we went to those nice beds.

A couple of hours later we woke up (again), breakfasted en famille and left again for Bryce Canyon, this time to conquer the Navajo Loop and the Queen’s Garden. Those who get wild ideas of indians riding horses and trying to catch us and queens with knights that resemble playcards: I’m sorry, I was disappointed too at first. But the moment we actually started following the trails, it was breathtaking. I’d say that for me personally, Yosemite and Bryce Canyon are competing for National Parks Camille Wants To See Again, first place. Good on them.

After the rather exhausting walk (except if you ask Mum, who was sprinting all over the trail and leaving us behind in her dust which frankly was a bit disconcerting), we took to the car again for a five and a half hour drive. Yes, we’re nuts, but we’re having fun while being so, so who cares? We were on our way to the famous Grand Canyon! While I slept the sleep of the graceful dead (except for the small part where I drooled all over my hand), my parents were taking on the American highways and my darling siblings were sleepwalking their way through the same drive. After a refreshing McDonalds stop (we’ve gotten my Dad a bit addicted but it’s all OK, he wouldn’t be found dead in one in Belgium), we entered Grand Canyon National Park.  There was a small embarrassing moment when entering the park, a ‘Eureka’-moment on finding a lost hotel-key (Furnace Creek, we’ve found it!) and then… there was rain. Again. In Grand Canyon, which hails a grand total of 40 rain days a year. Hurray.

In the end, we stopped at a couple of view points, affirmed those with doubts that yes, this really was Grand Canyon and found our hotel. Which is why, right now, I’m capable of typing this while having finally figured out that wordpress.com seems to be the only website that cooperates with the local internet connection (I’ve been trying to log on on my e-mail account for the last half an hour and still no success). The original evening plans included a walk through the park and watching the sun set, but as it’s still raining/very cloudy, there won’t be a lot of sun to see setting. So now we’ve got an hour and half to relax, take a shower, get out of our very smelly and sweaty clothes and look for something to eat. Oh, and make sure we find food and snacks for our very own Fourth of July celebration, of course.

So long and thanks for the fish! (shamelessly stolen from Douglas Adams. If you haven’t read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy yet, do so at once.)

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