Thursday, December 17, 2015

A wild javalina, new Subaru WRX glamour shots, and a castle and condors!

The Grand Canyon is my happy place. I'm convinced it is THE most special place on planet Earth. On our way home from Williams, AZ this year, we took a slight detour to visit the south rim. I've only been to the south rim one other time, when I ran from the north to south... going down to the Colorado and back up the other side (highly recommend!). We had our brand new blue Subaru WRX, only 2 days old, to navigate the windy forest roads to various overlooks and short hikes.

Subaru glamour shot
It was a blustery, cold morning with snow showers in the distance. I had no idea what to expect driving along this gorgeous, tree-lined road. The park was very desolate and we only saw a handful of other cars.

Harry and mom get brave to get a better view

Um, of course I'm gonna climb out to the edge. :)

I seriously love the Grand Canyon!!!!!
Towards the end of the scenic backway, we saw one final sign that said "scenic overlook, Kolb Studio" with a picture that looked like a castle. Kolb Studio once housed the offices of the Kolb brothers, who were the most prominent photographers and filmmakers of the canyon. The studio now includes art exhibits and a bookstore with great views of the canyon floor.

JJ is the king of his castle
The views here were simply jaw-dropping beautiful.

Inside the "castle" was a crazy cool spiral staircase leading to different levels and views. Can you spot the boys?


On our way back to the car, Steve motioned me to quickly come over to where he was standing, giving me the universal gesture for "shhhhhhhh, be very quiet."

Just hanging out on the side of the walking path was this cute guy -- a wild javalina!!! Though some people think javelina are a type of wild pig, they are actually members of the peccary family, a group of hoofed mammals originating from South America. (See, I learned that fact at Bearizona!) I was so completely stoked to see this scrunty looking animal I was internally freaking out.

Oh hi.

do ta do!
After that sighting, I truly believed I had seen it all. I already considered our trip a major success. But wait -- there was more! As we were driving back to Kanab and nearing Navajo Bridge (Navajo Bridge crosses the Colorado River's Marble Canyon near Lee's Ferry in Arizona) we saw these huge swooping birds flying overhead. 

California condors at Navajo Bridge
 WHAT A SPECIAL TREAT!! The California condor is one of the world's rarest bird species: as of October 2014 there are 425 condors living wild or in captivity! And we saw some!!

Gorgeous views

Majestic
The wingspan of the California Condor can reach 9.8 ft and can weigh up to 26 lb. The condor is one of the world's longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 60 years.




I'm not sure we'll ever top this trip. I mean, maybe if we saw a wild jackalope or something. :)

Get out, live life. Seek adventure. Peace :)

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