Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monsoon Season on the North Rim!

I've been trying to finish this for couple days now and I just get interrupted. Therefore, I'll just describe the pictures because otherwise, I'll never get this posted. 

I realize I talk about my sheer hatred of summertime, but let me be clear. I don't hate Summer everywhere. I just hate it down in the desert. I hate it in places that are regularly triple digits for months on end. 

However, on the Kaibab Plateau, Summer is beautiful.  Below in this post I have some more weather pics. It was a fantastic day!
Kaibab Lodge Sign on the drive between Jacob Lake and the North Rim
Kaibab Lodge on the drive between Jacob Lake and the North Rim
There is a little General Store across the highway from the Kaibab Lodge and these Connecticut Tourists were asking if the rain was going to stop. I wanted to cringe.

What they didn't get is Summer Monsoon rains aren't an all day cloudy drizzle. It's part of the season. I know they were from a different part of the country, but they really needed to accumlate of how nice it is at 8000ft+ in July in Northern Arizona. After they left the General Store, I had a nice conversation about it with the nice store owner. 

We also shared a love for Target and a hatred for Wal-Mart.  (even though both of those were hours away!)

And Monsoon Season isn't just something in Northern Arizona. One of the saving graces of Summer down in the desert is the Monsoon storm season. Sure, we end up with more humidity as a result, but a good Monsoon season yields more clouds blocking the sun, some rain and thunderstorms. And lower temperatures. 

Chris's postcard from the bottom of the Grand Canyon in September 2007
So far, this year's Monsoon season and last year's were pretty good. And Monsoon Season up north is unpredictable, adventurous and beautiful. 
At the Entrance of the Grand Canyon! Chris has been down to Phantom Ranch in September! Hot it is!

"Beefalo" just before the Canyon's entrance

The North Rim Entrance
Mikelle looking out at the Canyon

See the people on the cliff?
A "down" view from Cape Royal
More beautiful clouds and rain the distance!
We wanted to go down to this viewpoint, but Christian was having trouble with the "height" factor.
Views from the Safety of Indoors. Yes, the Monkey Leash was a MUST!

Some Storm Action over on the South Rim, as seen from the North Rim

After the Visitor Center and a picnic lunch (but we went over by the Grand Canyon General Store/Campground area for a picnic table - no way doing a lunch near the edges with Alexander in our clutches!), we took a drive to the Walhalla Plateau and the end which is Cape Royal. Beautiful areas and crazy cliffs. And these cliffs did not have fences. Let's just say if it wasn't for the family reunion in Jacob Lake, I would not have taken Alexander to the Grand Canyon yet with him being so young and "adventurous". I'm glad everything went okay!

The drive to Cape Royal in Orange.

Rainbow in the Canyon on the Walhalla Plateau at Vista Encantada
Down the road from there, we got pounded on. And look at the temperature! Perfection!

 Pine cones were falling out of the tree above us and also hitting the car. Crazy storm action!

A few more miles down the road, at the end of the route is Cape Royal. So gorgeous. The rain had tapered off and the clouds gave the perfect diffused light. I could have stayed there all day. 

There's even a "Wedding Spot" there for anyone to get married right there on the cliff. There's a cute little seating area too. But word to the wise: If you want to have your wedding there, make sure no children are invited. Too close to the cliffs! Our monkey harness AND hand holding was on overdrive!

Cape Royal Cliffs:

One of the most beautiful "Man-Made" Views. If you have to camp, this is the way to do it!

And leaving the Canyon, more Rainbows!

One of my favorite shots!

Earlier that day, back at the Campground, Alexander commandeering the Forest Worker's golf cart. He did this the day before too.

And the view driving off the Kaibab Plateau as we left on July 15

So what is the update on the car in Flagstaff? Well, as I write this on the last day of July, and the car has been there since July 11th,  it's still there. There is potentially good news about this ordeal ending soon, but I don't want to jinx it by saying anything until it's definite. Sure, it sounds negative and cynical on my part, but I think "cautious optimism" is a good idea, considering everything that has happened.

And it's hard to believe, but last week was the first day of school for Mikelle and Christian. I have an EIGHTH GRADER. How did that happen? And Christian is in FOURTH grade? And don't they look just so excited?

Our X-man giving Mikelle "First Day of School" Advice

Farewell, July! Thanks for the Monsoons both up north and down here! Bring some more! Summer still has a good 2 months! 

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