I've had a fascination with rocks for a long time. My family has actually made fun of me about it. I just love them. They're amazing. They are handiworks of God.
The first time I ever saw the Grand Canyon at age 15 on a road trip to California with my family, I was in awe - and heartbroken that we only spent a few minutes there! (I determined never to do that to my own kids!) I've visited the Grand Canyon a couple more times, most recently last fall when we hiked down into the canyon and up the same day. It was hard. It was a challenge. Kind of a half-marathon on steroids! It took us 11 1/2 hours. I loved it and we had trained for it and we were with a sweet group of people from church.
BUT...I said I would never do that again UNLESS I could hike down and spend the night in the canyon. I wanted to really enjoy the scenery, sit around, get to know it a little better, bask in it. But there's a catch! There's only one place to spend the night in the canyon, Phantom Ranch. It's an old, historic place with a few cabins and dorms. Or you can get a campsite (limited) and carry all your gear down and up with you.
I knew Phantom Ranch reservations were hard to get. I didn't know how hard! But I started dreaming the "Impossible dream" and planning for us to go somehow with our adult kids. Time is of the essence. I feel like their lives are getting busier and more adult-like all the time. We are halfway fit physically, who knows how we'll be in a few years?
So the planning began - I had four different If-then plans. We tried calling April 1, 2017 for April 2018 reservations, as the process goes. We had three phone lines calling for over two hours to no avail. We finally got the recording that all Phantom Ranch reservations were full. I was told 100,000 people are trying to call at the same time every first day of the month. Terribly disappointing! I wanted to try one more time, May 1, before giving up and trying for a campsite. My son had three phone lines dialing and I had one. I was in disbelief 40 minutes later, when my son texted me that he was on hold and 15th in line!
We got it! We got our second choice date!!! So we have a reservation for one night at Phantom Ranch, along with the famous stew dinners, one year from now, the week after my youngest graduates from college.