The Update With Lots Of Pictures

Oh what a month! We drove approximately 5,000 miles, hiked 25+ miles, and traveled more than 80 hours in the car. And the traveling is not over yet.

It was exhausting, but also a great experience. We saw so many sights and had so many laughs it would be impossible to recap it all here. So I will just do some photo highlights.

First - Our Stay in Cleburne, TX for Vayle and Chases LOVELY wedding!
It was a blast seeing friends and watching these dear friends of ours get married. We got to know Vayle's family better and really enjoyed our time there.


Next we drove to New Mexico to meet up with Don's family at a home that was made to look like an old Spanish Mission. A friend of Don's dad had let us stay there for FREEEE!!!! We stayed for about four days and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. It was so beautiful. We were able to do some sight seeing around the area at White Sands, NM and Lincoln, NM where Billy the Kid had lived and died. Here's some pix!

The Mission we stayed at.

A hike Don, Don and Maddie went on.


Possibly my favorite part of the trip, White Sands!

Maddie and Dave and Don having fun in the sand.

The Don's and their women. :P

Here we are at a Butte that we hiked around (4 miles). Don, Don, Maddie and Dave hiked to the top of it!

Maddie and I jumping at the top of a mountain of volcano ash.

A reminder to drink lots of water so you won't get dehydrated and therefore cranky..

We finally made it the the Grand Canyon. This was the intimidating part of our trip. We visited the rim the first day and looked out at the Canyon we were going to hike. My mind almost refused to accept that it was real. It looked just like a huge painting hanging there.


But let me tell you, once we were down there it felt real. :) We started the hike at South Kaibab trail which is a 7 mile hike. We camped that night down at Phantom Ranch and got an early start the next morning on our 5 mile hike to Indian Gardens Camp Ground. We stayed one more night there and by then our legs were really screaming at us. We spent some time rubbing each others legs and soaking in the ice cold stream to try to get them ready for the next day of hiking. We wanted to beat the heat so we started hiking at 3:30 our last day. I believe we hiked 5 miles that day. It was so hard because our bodies were sore and we were hiking UP hill. The last mile and a half I had to take lots of breaks. I felt like we would never get out. But we did! And it was such a relief when we did. It was such a great experience and we love looking back at all the pictures we took. It was really beautiful so I will post a few pix of that too!

This freaked me out very much, they all decided to climb out on a rock that was being supported by another tiny rock that was about two feet in diameter.

This was one of the coolest spots to stop and rest on our hike down. Lots of shade and cool rocks to take the heat out of our bodies.

Down at the bottom finally! Maddie and I were happy.

Looks pretty high huh? Well, that ledge isn't even the rim!

And here is Rambo on the 2nd day of hiking. This picture is cool because you can see the part of the rim that we started hiking down on the first day, and the switch back trails that we had just come up on the second.

I'm sorry, I know this is gross... but I just had to show you my blisters.

Here is Don 'elevating' his legs.

Don stretching Maddie's tired legs.

The squirrels that were constantly trying to find a snack to eat.

Don and his dad decided to hike an extra 3 miles on the second day so they could see 'the point' which has one of the coolest views in the canyon.

The Colorado River!

Here is our hike out on the last day, beautiful!

After we got out of the Canyon Don and I parted ways with his family. They were going to do some more sight seeing while we were anxious to get up to Michigan to be there for the birth of our niece. We took a break from driving in Colorado so that we could celebrate our one year anniversary! We went to some amazing Hot Springs and then got a beautiful hotel in Snowmass Village, Colorado.


The hot springs! There was a therapy pool and another pool that was not quite as hot. It really helped those sore muscles from the Canyon!


Our sweet hotel!

We had a great time but were excited to get up to Michigan! The baby was a little later than expected, but she arrived on July 2nd around noon. They named her Iris Elizabeth Carlton. She is just perfect!

She is such a chunker!

Uncle Don and Aunt CC!

My sister delivered her just in time because we had to leave the next day. We had a good time in Michigan with my family but were glad to get home. It was a long, but enjoyable month on the road. Now we are just trying to rest a little bit, work a lot and make the most of these last few weeks in Millersburg before we move to Missouri in August.

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