This was our first visit as a family to the Grand Canyon. The boys were both really looking forward to seeing it, and we had been reading and re-reading a book about it weeks before we had arrived. It just so happened that the weather turned outrageously cold, with highs in the 40’s and a chilly wind. The sky was beautifully clear, but we were very glad that we had brought along heavy coats, hats, and gloves.
It still happened to be very crowded for a chilly day in November. The Grand Canyon is so massive, and we drove from our base of Camp Verde, entering the South Entrance of the park. I was hoping to see the Grand Canyon skywalk, but it ended up being very far from where we were, and they had received several inches of snow the previous week that were still lingering.
Instead we hopped on one of the free shuttles, and stopped off at a few viewpoints, having a picnic lunch and attending a ranger talk about the California Condor. Although we picked up the Junior Ranger booklets, we did not even try to complete them in our short time there. Instead we took the book home with us, and completed them later in the week. I was able to mail in the completed books, and they mailed us back the badges.
All in all, we had a very nice day at the Grand Canyon, although the weather did make it difficult to linger too long at each stop. Next time I hope to at least hike one partial trail down into the canyon.
It was really by accident that I stumbled upon the website for Flagstaff Extreme, and boy was that a lucky day! We planned a day trip to Flagstaff the following week, only an hour from where we were staying, and asked the boys if they’d like to try this obstacle course in the trees (since they are all about training to one day participate in American Ninja Warrior.) They both said yes, and my little one just barely made the height restriction.
The boys had their own private training guide and since they were the only ones on the kids course, they had his undivided attention. They loved every minute. They had to wear a harness and learn how to tether themselves to each obstacle with 2 different lines. It was a bit difficult at first for them to get the hang of hooking and unhooking their lines, and we had previously cut the fingers off of their baseball-type gloves (for gripping) that they had to make it a little easier to maneuver. So they practiced on a training course, which was not so high off the ground.
Then they went to the main course and got to zip line, walk across suspended bridges, walk tight ropes, crawl through a suspended tunnel, and run through a netted obstacle. They were actually able to complete the entire course three times, which ended up taking about 2.5 hours, and for $25 a child, I thought that was an awesome price for a challenging and memorable experience.
The second time around the course, the guide challenged them to use no hands (to my horror) although they were still tethered to the line above. Kyle took on the challenge immediately, so you see him above walking a rope with no hands. Even Jacob walked across the suspended bridge backwards the second time.
This was such an awesome experience for the boys, and we had a blast just watching and encouraging them. I highly recommend this adventure, and the adult courses were significantly higher and looked like a lot of fun, too!