Wednesday: Wendy and I drove through the flat West Texas landscape, which changed from cotton fields to oil wells to barren desert as the day wore on. The land became mountainous as we neared the park, and the view was spectacular.
Let me just stop and say right now that there are no words to describe the beauty that I saw there, and the pictures only capture a fraction of it. It is just breathtakingly, indescribably gorgeous.
We met my friend Julie, who brought four of her friends, and even though I hadn't met them before, they turned out to be an absolutely fun bunch of ladies. We had a great time, good food, and lots of laughter with them throughout the week.
Thursday: Wendy and I hiked the South Rim. I am so proud of this accomplishment I could bust. I have never done anything like this before. We loaded up our packs with two gallons of water, sleeping bag, tent, food for two days, and a map, and headed uphill. We asked some tourists in the parking lot to take our "Before" picture:
Please believe me when I say that those backpacks were HEA-VY and that by the time we got halfway up that hike we thought we were GOING. TO. DIE. We didn't, though, but by the time we got to our campsite, 6 miles up the trail, this is more what we looked like:
I call this picture "Siesta" or "My Feet Hurt", take your pick. We had an awesome campsite complete with its own overlook of the Southwest Rim, from which we could see the Rio Grande river, and the mountains of Mexico behind it. After our nap, we feasted on Summer Sausage, cheddar cheese, wheat thins, and PowerAde, and settled in to watch the sun set over the mountains.
And the stars! I have never seen such a clear, star-filled sky. Each morning we woke up before the sun, and we just sat and watched the meteorites streak across the sky.
So that's the first two days. I'll try to condense the rest into one post for tomorrow.