I met my parents in Phoenix, where we both flew in around 9am.  I was getting up much before them due to the time change so I was a little groggy when we got together.  We decided to meet up at the car rental building and we quickly got the car and headed to Sedona.  While there we went to see some petroglyphs, one large one in the form of a calendar.  We also went to a nice restaurant to get a good view of the sunset over the red rock formations of Sedona.  It was very pretty and the food was delicious.

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We got to the canyon rim and spent the night.  On the way it was snowing, and when we got there it was pretty chilly.  We spent the night in a hotel on the rim, then grabbed breakfast before heading down.  There was a good layer of frost on the ground and some ice along the rim.

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We got all geared up and started the hike by going through some really steep switchbacks.  We got to the first rest house and took a little weight off my dad so he could enjoy it more.  When we got to the second rest house, jeff took some more of the weight.  Jeff and Kim then told me to catch up and hurried off.  They really hurried, since I wasn’t able to catch them before hitting the bottom.  We were passing people like crazy, and I injured my knee on the final switchbacks before the river.  Luckily we were right near the bottom, and the injury only mattered a lot when trying to go down.

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I really enjoyed doing some of these zoom series, where I take a picture of people, usually Jeff and Kim, at several zoom levels.  In the zoomed out versions the people are only several tens of pixels high.  I think this really gives scale to the canyon that is impossible to understand unless you go, and even then it is hard to really comprehend the size of it.

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I was able to get some zoom series of my parents as well, and even the bright blue shirt disappears in the zoomed out picture.

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I like this series for the beauty of the zoomed out picture, and the extra zoom level I did on the zoomed in version.

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This zoom series is of the bridge across the river.  The bridge gives another landmark for scale that is nice.

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The first night of camping was decent.  There were lots of people around at Bright Angel campground and Phantom Ranch.  There was also a cute little fox running around looking at which camp sites would have food that was easy to steal.  We locked all of ours up really tight, so he wasn’t able to get any of ours.  Kim and I shared a tent, with Jeff taking one by himself.  This worked out since he needed a little extra room.  I had a great setup of a beanie, an eye mask, and ear plugs.   This deadened me to the world, especially my dad’s snoring.  I was told that I snored a little myself both nights.

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We got up early the next day and had a nice breakfast at the phantom ranch dining hall.  The food was great, but the breakfast was at 5:30am.  That was a little tough to get up for, but we also went to sleep very early.

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We hiked out the next day and crossed over the second bridge.  I got a good shot looking back at my parents and sister as they crossed.  This part of the hike went along the river for a while before continuing up the south face of the canyon.

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This bit along the river gave some of the best views, but it was really hard on my knee.

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We got to Indian Gardens, and camped there for the second night.  Kim, mom, and I went out on the point and overlooked the river.  It was a nice view, but not worth the hike on my bad knee.

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The next day I was really tired, and didn’t take many pictures.  Jeff went ahead to get the car and check us in.  I was next with my bad knee.  Kim followed closely after me, as she was carrying extra weight.  Mom and dad were about an hour after that.  We all made it out, and Jeff was by far the one in the best shape at the top.  I think I could have kept up if not for the knee.  I was in a lot of pain for several days afterwards, but it has started healing.

We drove back to Phoenix the next day, stopping off in Flagstaff and Tempe for food.  I ended up grabbing a hotel room for the night since my flight was the next morning.  The others had a midnight flight and went to the airport after dropping me off.  I got back to SJC and quickly jumped in the SuperShuttle back to my place.

It was a great time, but I doubt I’ll be doing something that ambitious again with the whole family.