Kaia and I got back from our 9 day AZ trip late Wed. night. We saw some stunning sites, met some wonderful people, and had the most amazing time together! Our original purpose for traveling was to go to the Herbal Resurgence Conference. But, we couldn’t go all the way across the country and not explore a bit!
The first day we were there, we spent time at Walnut Canyon. It’s a relatively small canyon compared to some of the others in AZ, but it is home to many ancient cliff dwellings of the Sinagua people.
Just a short hike into the canyon you find evidence of community life from a thousand years ago.
Rooms were built around rock that had been carved out by ancient rivers.
The small rooms still had fire stained ceilings
After visiting Walnut Canyon, Kaia and I checked ourselves in to the Mormon Lake Lodge
where we spent the next 4 days enjoying herbal education, new friends, and great music.
The pines around here are amazing. In fact, we discovered that we were in the largest continuous Ponderosa Pine forest in the world.
Kaia made quick friends, not just with the horses, but with another 10 year old who she played with any chance she got. They hung out at the stables, made mermaids by the lake, and sold Kaia’s hair clips and necklaces together.
Our sweet cabin neighbors each bought one of her hair clips and posed for me. They also prepared big feast each night and invited us over to dine!
While Kaia was playing or in her classes, I got to go to a crazy number of herbal classes with some amazing teachers!! Classes on Pine, Hawthorne, Artemisia, herbs and digestion, warning signs for herbalists, tongue and pulse diagnosis, herb walks…. I’d taken a step back from herbs since closing my clinic after Leif was born, and it felt so good to immerse myself in it again!
Once we left Mormon Lake, we headed up to the Grand Canyon. I’ve only been to the Grand Canyon once before this trip, and I just remember standing deep in the canyon walls and feeling completely overwhelmed. The immensity of it can’t be put into words. I wanted Kaia to experience this in person.
We hiked about a mile down the Bright Angel Trail.
meeting spotted squirrels
And a family of mule deer
The skies were insanely blue!
There were old pictoglyphs carved into the wall (do you see them? In red?)…
and the Colorado River in the distance.
On our final day, we took the scenic route back to Phoenix via the Oak Creek Canyon Drive. We stopped off at Slide Rock State Park
and had ourselves in stitches, laughing as we slid down the extremely cold river.
Again, the skies were so blue they seemed painted.
The river has carved a natural slide through the sand stone perfect for cold water fun.
And, BOY, was it cold. The kind of cold that leaves you gasping for breath.
We had to jump out and throw ourselves down on the warm rock.
Going on adventures with your kids is the best! We almost didn’t want to leave. Almost. Except that we had my sweet hubby and little boy waiting us, arms open ready for big hugs!
I hope you have been on some great adventures lately!