Grand Canyon camping adventure

{Blog Editor’s note: Over the next few weeks we will have guest bloggers from our Doris Duke Conservation Scholars  experiential education program provide updates and descriptions of their adventures in learning this summer. These updates aren’t in any particular order. Buckle your seat belts, folks; it’s sure to be an amazing ride!}

June 8, 2014 by Kim and Eva

Our first day of this new, exciting two-month adventure began with a two-hour drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Many of us were foreign to the terrain and were excited by the fresh red and green of the landscape. The clear and wide sky stood out to those of us from across the country, as well as the unusual brightness of the clouds in Northern Arizona.  On our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon we made a stop at Red Mountain, which we learned was once an active volcano.

The DDCSP group poses before viewing the Grand Canyon, all happy and eager to be together.

The DDCSP group poses before viewing the Grand Canyon, all happy and eager to be together.

For many of us, the Grand Canyon was a new experience, so we were given the opportunity to approach the Canyon with our eyes closed, and witness the magic all in one moment. It was an incredibly emotional and moving experience for most if not all of us. Many of us tried to grasp the enormity and beauty of the Grand Canyon, but it doesn’t seem possible. We then drove to another part where there was the Hopi House, where we saw some Indigenous works, and El Tovar hotel.

Margarita sees the enormity of the Grand Canyon for the first time.

Margarita sees the enormity of the Grand Canyon for the first time.

Afterwards, we went to the Navajo reservation to have dinner where most of us enjoyed our first Navajo Taco. After our meal, we took a stop at a bridge where we were able to overlook the Little Colorado River, with not much water. Later, we drove to our campsite at O’Leary Peak. When we first arrived, we struggled as we made our tents for the first time; we referred to them as ‘hashtag’ tents due to the form of its poles. As the sun set we had our group meeting where one of our program’s directors, Tom Sisk, spoke to us about where we were as well as what we might do in our program later on. After our meeting was over, the moon and stars were shining so brightly and beautifully that we all chose not to sleep in our tents after the hard work of putting them up. We all played games and told each other stories until we fell asleep.

About to see the Little CO River

About to see the Little CO River

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