After that we left to go see the Grand Canyon - only 2 1/2 hours away. The drive up through Oak Creek Canyon on our way there was absolutely beautiful.
After we passed through Flagstaff we came upon these views of the beautiful snow-capped mountain and the fall foliage. It was magnificent. We all pulled over and got out of the car to take it in.
When we reached The Grand Canyon we saw this elk (at least I think it's an elk) just grazing right by where we parked our car. I took this picture from about 10 feet away.
The Grand Canyon really is a magnificent place. Our whole family was in awe. We watched an IMAX film at the visitor's center explaining the many years it took nature to carve out this canyon. It also talked of the many explorers who had lost their lives on the great river that flows through it. Boy, was it a long way down to the bottom.
Kyle did not want to cooperate in this picture. When he makes up his mind that he doesn't want to do something it takes quite a bit of convincing to change it. He finally came around, though. Mark was great at making me give up my camera so I could be in some of the shots, too.
Mark provides the comic relief in our family. He had the kids laughing the entire time as he related stories and jokes. Of course the kids had to reciprocate with their own jokes. It's nice to know that elementary school kid jokes have remained exactly the same through the years...
I loved this shot of Mark and Morgan sharing a moment together as they walked along the rim.
I love moments on trips like these where everyone is just truly enjoying being around each other. I love my family. They are truly my best friends. I love getting to know their little personalities better, and for them to get to know me away from the "get it done" world we live in at home when there is so much going on. Being in nature facilitates that in a way that nothing else can.
The view below was one of my absolute favorites. The sun was at just the right angle to bring out all the color in the sky and the rocks. Gorgeous!