A week ago our son David and his wife Beth, flew into LA and drove up to Big Bear to spend a week with us. They arrived on a Saturday evening just as we got done with our campground duties. We have not seen them since last summer and we could not wait to get our hugs. We spent the evening letting them unwind by a campfire as we chatted. Eventually the three hour time difference caught up with them and we called it a night.
We had to work the next day on Sunday but then we had the next four days off. While we were working on Sunday they took the time to go to the Village in Big Bear and shop around. After our work was done we got cleaned up and we put some steaks on the grill and enjoyed another campfire. Our four days was getting a great start.
On Monday we took them on a Jeep tour of the area and stopped and had a great BBQ lunch at the Village.
Our plans were to get up on Tuesday morning and head to the Grand Canyon. We decided to leave at 3:00 am which would put us there around 11:30 am or so. They have not been out west before so they got to see the desert along the way.
Once we arrived at the Canyon we had about 4 hours before we could check into the lodge, so we went straight to the visitors center. We got all the maps and started walking the rim and getting on the shuttles as we went from point to point. Beth is a little afraid of heights and had to be coaxed to get to the railings, but after awhile she was starting to get used to it. Walking along the rim where there was no railings was more difficult for her but she did great.
We spent the afternoon enjoying this great park. It was getting pretty warm and at a watering station an Elk was trying to get some water. She was so thirsty I just had to help her get a drink.
Around 5:00 pm we went and checked into our room and then went for dinner at a steak house in the small town of Tusayan. After dinner we hurried up to go get us a spot for a sunset view of the canyon. As big as the canyon is, t is hard to find a private spot to view a sunset. There were people everywhere. We could have hiked the rim a little ways but after dark that did not seem like a great idea.
The next morning we got up and took the shuttle to another section of the park and hiked some more of the rim. Some sections we were on a some pretty narrow ledges with huge drop offs. Beth did a great job and managed to get through them. I am not sure if she even looked out.
So what do you do with some one that is afraid of heights? Well you take them on a helicopter tour of course!
The pilot had to put us in assigned seating for weight distribution so David, Max and I weighed the most so we were put in the back. Beth and another couple were put in the front. I am not sure she was happy being separated from David. Here she is putting on her brave face.
She had a great front row view, but I don’t think it cured her from not liking heights. She did really good and I think she enjoyed it.
The tour was about 50 minutes and took us around to the North Rim and back. It was a beautiful flight and the views were amazing.
After the flight we made the long drive back to Big Bear. On the way back we took a detour through Oatman Arizona. It is along the old Route 66 and It is a twisty scenic road. We knew the shops would be closed because it was after 5:00 pm but we wanted to see it. There are wild burros that roam the street and as it was getting late we saw them heading out of town. They know when the tourist that feed them are gone for the day. After stopping for dinner in Needles Ca, we made it home right around 1:00 am.
We slept in until 7:30 then got up and drove to Joshua Tree National Park. It is about an hour and a half away from Big Bear. Joshua Tree is a winter park but we figured we would make it a driving tour. It was a cool 108 degrees when we stopped for a picnic lunch.
We did get out and hike about a mile to see the Barker Dam and some Petroglyphs.
There are lots of trails and rock climbing places in this park but since it was summer we pretty much had the park to ourselves.
Key View, it was very hazy but the narrow dark line in the middle is the San Andreas fault line.
After Joshua Tree we took the long way home and stopped at a Casino for the seafood buffet. We made it home around 10:00 pm.
On Friday Max and I had to work while Dave and Beth relaxed around the campsite. We finished up our duties as fast as we could so we could spend our last night enjoying another campfire.
Sadly, Saturday morning Dave and Beth had to leave. It was a very fun week and we sure enjoyed having them here with us. We will get to see them again over Christmas when we fly back to spend some time in Indiana.
Now, it is back to work and getting ready for the big week of July Fourth. It is going to be very busy and a little crazy from what we have heard.
Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!