Mallory and Olivia's Grand Canyon Trip Photo Journal! :D

The Grand Canyon from the rim.


Yawn….. We got up at 5:00 a.m. and niggled with the task of getting out of bed before our mothers pushed us- not literally–out. (How is it that they are always ready to go when their kids are still asleep?) Then we hurried out the door after having a quick breakfast to the school so we could catch the bus. On the way there, we didn’t do much. (Unless you consider stuffing our faces with junk as ‘much’!) In just four short hours, we were in Flagstaff, Arizona, where we stopped to eat at the Sizzler for lunch. After stuffing our faces for the third time that day, we hopped with much enthusiasm onto the bus. Now, you may ask, “Why would you be excited to get on a bus?” Well, it is for two reasons: it was snowing, and we were going to the GRAND CANYON!!!


We bundled up in our marshmallow costumes from Halloween (no, not really) and wobbled off the bus. And guess what? IT WAS SNOWING AGAIN!!! At 29 degrees outside, it was very cold. After a few minutes of waiting, our guide for the hike, Frank, came out and introduced himself. Finally, we started out on the trail. The first place we stopped was the Buckey O’Neill Cabin which Frank told us was, ‘the first building built in the Grand Canyon, over 100 years ago.’ The first people at the Grand Canyon were there because they were interested in mining for copper, gold, and silver. One thing these people used a lot was the Bright Angel Trail, which was near the Bright Angel creek and fault. That fault is the most active fault in Arizona. The trail was used by animals and Native Americans long ago, while now, it is used by people like us who come to explore the beauty of the canyon.

The Colorado River is
277 miles long in the Grand Canyon. However, if you were to walk along the rim of the canyon, it would be a hike of more than 1,300 miles!
Buckey O'neill cabin (first building ever built at the Grand Canyon)
An important and historical building was built by the Kolb brothers, Emery and Ellsworth. It was a large building on the side of the Grand Canyon. They used this as their studio where they took pictures. As people would pass by the studio on mule-back (is that a word?) to take a hike into the Grand Canyon, the brothers would take their pictures through the window. Then, Emery and Ellsworth would make the steep trek down to Indian Gardens to develop the pictures. They walked down there because Indian Gardens was the only place that had water. The Grand Canyon National Park Service, created in 1919, wanted to destroy the studio to make room for other buildings. Emery didn’t approve of this idea. He lived to 1975, so when the park service finally had the chance to tear sown the building, they couldn’t. This was because the building was over 50 years old, making it a historical place. Emery had the last say in what would become of the studio.

We are about to start really hiking. But our marshmallow suits can handle anything!
As we were walking on the rim of the canyon, Frank pointed out the different types of rocks to us. There are sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Sedimentary rock is what makes up the top layer of the canyon, igneous rock comes from the inner parts of the Earth, and metamorphic rock is what sedimentary and igneous rock become if they are affected by heat and/or pressure.

After a two-hour hike, we said goodbye to our buddy Frank, ate some dinner, and headed off to a nice, too-hot hotel.
A look at the Grand Canyon without so many clouds in the way!

OThe Kolb Studio, it turns out, was not even attached to the ground! It was simply built up, without having a foundation or base. The park service spent many years repairing and restoring the building to tip-top shape.
OErosion got rid of 2 whole miles of sand dunes in the area between Wyoming and Mexico.
OThe switchbacks in the trails going down to the Grand Canyon help “shallow out” the steepness.
A waterfall we saw on our river float.


Yawn…. Was it time to go already? It was 5:43 and we were just woken up by the hotel’s phone call. We rushed out to eat some breakfast and then walked out to the busses to drive the LONG drive to the Glenn Canyon Dam. (Oh yes, 4 minutes is very long!) When we got there, we hopped in a smaller bus and drove into the rock- literally! There was a mile long tunnel chiseled into the sandstone. When we got out, we were at the base of the river, right by the dam. It was not very cold out, but it was windy. We walked down to the boats with helmets on. Much to Olivia’s dismay, we had to give the helmets back when we reached the boats. Mallory was told that because she was under 13 years old, she had to wear a large, red life jacket to make sure she didn’t drown. (Oh yes, a 5’7” person who can swim AND hold onto a boat would DEFINITELY fly off and die). We headed off down the river, making our own “white water rapids” along the way (Let’s just say we got SOAKED, forcing Mallory to wear PJ pants all day). While on our float, we learned that rain in cracks, which freezes, causes the rock to fall off. These rocks that fall into the river create white water rapids. We also learned that John Wesley Powell had special landmarks such as Monk Rock, Echo Point, and Poison Peak, named
Our last look at the water in the Glenn Canyon Dam. Just look at that shiny reflection!
because one drop will kill you! HAHAHA! In addition, we learned that "hanging canyons" cause waterfalls, similar to the one you see above on the right. Before we ended up at Lee's Ferry, the first and only place to cross the river with a ferry-boat within 100 miles, we looked once more at the beauty of the water. Then we were off to Wupatki (WOO-pot-key)!


OBefore the Glenn Canyon Dam was built and Lake Powell was created, the Colorado River was a warm, silt-filled river. Afterwards, it became a cold, clear river. The whole ecosystem was changed.

Olivia kicking back texting!
In case you were wondering, “What did you do on the other bus rides, Olivia and Mallory?” we have some answers for you:

  • Texted
  • Ate food
  • Played on the Spell Checker
  • Tried to ignore the movie Pokemon as it played obnoxiously in the background (Thanks Matt Solverson! –SARCASM)
  • Used sarcasm
  • Played on the Nintendo D.S. (Pictochat and MarioKart)
  • Fell asleep
  • Laughed our heads off
  • Etc.


Wupatki National monument is a series of houses and gathering places made by the Puebloans (Coconino and Anasazi tribes) at least 900 years ago. The Puebloans used animal bones as needles and awls, yucca for baskets, mats, and sandals, clay as mortar and plaster, and limestone, basalt, and sandstone as building materials. Wupatki was a major living place for these natives due to the rich soil and vast, open plains, making it easy to spot enemies. All houses were built with “key-hole entries”, which made it impossible to get into the building without crawling. This protected the native peoples from intruders. Since the Puebloans had no written form of communication, it is hard to find out about their ways of life. We have to make inferences based on the artifacts found at their ancient homes. After shielding ourselves from the wind one last time, we left the monument and drove to Sunset Crater, the last stop on our ‘Grand Canyon Trip.’
Ruins at Wupatki. Pretty impressive, huh?

OThe types of houses in the Southwest are cliff dwellings, pueblos, and pit houses. At Wupatki, the houses are all pueblos.
OMost of the artifacts found at Wupatki were destroyed, stolen, or buried under the sand. This makes it a challenge to learn about the natives.
OBlack rock was thought of as decorative to the Puebloans. This rock is only found in the recreational or gathering places at Wupatki.
OWupatki means, “Big House.”

This is a "lava tube" at Sunset Crater National Park.

John Wesley Powell named this place Sunset Crater due to the rocks and landscape that were the colors of a sunset. Sunset Crater is a cinder cone volcano, which exploded 1,000 years ago, leaving the terrain covered in black lava. We walked around in the park, exploring the caves and crevices made by the dried, black lava. The crater is over 1,000 feet tall and nearly a mile in diameter. We continued to make our way through the rocks, where we found a Spatter Cone, a pile of lava created in the shape of a cone. The wind began to pick up again and the temperature dropped as we boarded the bus for one of the last times.


OThis volcano is likely to erupt again in the future.
OThe rocks around Sunset Crater are red due to the iron found in them.
OThere are two types of volcanic rock: Pahoehoe and AA. At Sunset Crater, the lava is AA since it is rough.

Way up at the top is the actual crater.

It was 10:00 P.M. when we made it back to Wilson K-8 on Friday night. We were sad and tired- sad that the trip was over and tired because NO ONE can fall asleep sitting up and hearing Pokemon blast in the speakers. We said our goodbyes to our wonderful, candy-giving bus-guide, Allan, went home, and fell asleep. Our trip was finally over. GOODBYE GRAND CANYON TRIP, HELLO…. School.