Day 8 (June 9, 1984): Actually this is day 9 from my journal, but my trip lasted 3 weeks and theirs is almost over, so bear with me. It was very cold this morning, 34 degrees, only 2 degrees above freezing. While we were packing we saw a gopher eating grass. It was so cute. It was popping in and out of it’s holes. I have seen 8 different kinds of birds: magpies, mountain bluebirds, vultures, a scissor-tail flycatcher, raven, Steller’s Jay, Western bluebird, and a piñon jay. We just drove out of Gallop, NM where I bought a turquoise ring and earrings. Now we are driving towards Arizona.
We went to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert (Inside the Petrified Forest National Park). The Painted Desert had every color in the rainbow in it plus brown, white, and black. Some of the petrified wood was beautiful. Some of it looked like marble, some looked like wood, and some looked more like stone than wood. We bought some petrified wood and post cards, and Mom got a piece of Fool’s gold. We stayed in Holbrook, AZ at the Sun-n-Sands Motel. We swam in the pool and then took a shower and the drain clogged. We had to get another room. I remember that we wanted to stay at the Wigwam Motel. It was so cool!
Day 8 (June 9, 2017): Today was the BIG day: Grand Canyon river raft ride, waterfall hike (Travertine Falls), and helicopter ride. My morning conversation with Peyton:
M: How are you today? Excited?
Peyton: Yes and nervous because I will be getting wet.
The raft ride down the Colorado river was 37 miles long and included 10 whitewater rapids (some as large as 5, 6, or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10) in the first 16 miles. Apparently Peyton got over her nerves because the guide, Ellen, said she sat in the front of the boat giggling the whole time and and yelling, “Yippee!” like she was on a roller coaster. Ellen said she kept having to cover Peyton’s mouth with her hand so she wouldn’t drown in the waves.
After that the rapids flattened out but the scenery was anything but flat. They stopped for a short (but difficult) hike to Travertine Falls,
then made there way down river to where the helicopters awaited them.
There were several “restroom” stops in the river which sparked this funny conversation on the way home.
Presley: It was so cold it just scared the pee right out of me!
Nana: It was so cold it scared the pee right back up to my kidneys.
PopPop: It was so cold it just locked everything up.
Peyton: I liked it! My pee was really warm! You just gotta love that kid!
Presley’s journal: Today we went river rafting down the Grand Canyon. When we were almost done with the rapids there s a really BIG one. One minute I was in my seat and the next I was on the floor. It was kinda scary. About ⅓ into the trip, the boats docked and everyone got out. We hiked up to Travertine Falls. Once we got to the Falls, it was so beautiful. We stood under the waterfall to get our picture taken. When we went back down we slid down a small waterfall like a slide.
Peyton’s journal: Today we went river rafting. It was very exciting! The first rapid Ms. Ellen said that it was only rated a 2. About ⅓ of the way we stopped to hike up Travertine Falls. It was gorgeous. You had to hike up and go into a little cave to get to the waterfall but it was worth it. We stopped to eat lunch at a beach and Ms. Ellen said that she could not keep her mouth shut when the rapids came because I was giggling so much. It was a long ride back to our rooms (at the end of the day). Peyton and I had this text conversation on their way back:
PJ: Hi u have three bars of wifi. I mean I do. I mean service.
M: Awesome. How was your day? You can call if you want to talk.
PJ: Good. We’re on the bus to the hotel in hualipai. Call won’t go through.
M: We’ll have to text
M: I guess you didn’t fall out of the raft or helicopter
M: How was it?
PJ: Really good the last rapid was really fun!
M: Did you get wet?
PJ: Of course
M: Was the helicopter noisy?
PJ: Nope when you were outside it was loud but inside it was quiet
M: Cool! Was it scary?
PJ: Kind of
But they did take this lovely photo of a Joshua Tree along the way.