Day Six(continued): Marc’s birthday continues with Taylor telling him they can do whatever he wants to do all day long. He chooses torture for his birthday, in the form of a quad-burning hike up Bear Mountain in Sedona. Their hard work is rewarded by a breath taking view of the red rocks of Sedona, followed by the long-awaited and much-needed shower. After the shower Marc wants to do more hiking, so they do an easy hike and then head out for dinner. After finding the best Mexican food in town and a giant margarita, they watch the sunset at Knoll’s Peak.
Day Seven: Marc and Taylor are up bright and early at 5:30 to pack up the tent and get on the road to (drum roll please) the GRAND CANYON! Taylor and Marc are both excited beyond words about this part of their trip, as neither have been there before. They get to the North Rim around lunchtime and eat their ritual PB&J for lunch. For the night, Marc reserved a backcountry permit, which will allow them to hike about 5 miles out to a designated campsite, and camp there for the night. They pack up their bags carefully, double and triple checking to make sure they didn’t forget anything. After being 5 minutes into the hike, Marc remembers he forgot the lighter for the stove. He drops his pack, runs back to get it, then they are finally ready to go! They get to their campsite and Taylor can’t believe she is literally going to be sleeping on the edge of the Grand Canyon.
After setting up the tent, they take in the scenery, make some macaroni and cheese for dinner, and sip on hot cocoa while watching the sunset. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Day Eight: Taylor didn’t think the Grand Canyon could get any better than at sunset, until she woke up at 5:15 a.m. to see the sunrise.
After a beautiful morning on the North Rim with oatmeal and coffee, they hike the 5 miles back to the car to get ready for an epic hike down into the Grand Canyon. Marc comments that Taylor is way too overdressed for the heat of the canyon, but still Taylor insists on wearing three layers and (accidentally) two pairs of capris. As they get deeper and deeper into the canyon the temperature got into the 80’s and Taylor can’t hide the fact that she is hot and sweaty. Fortunately, admitting you’re wrong goes a long way, and Marc carries her clothes in the daypack 3000 feet out of the canyon.
After 10 miles down into and back up out of the canyon, Taylor is still smiling.
After a 15 mile day of hiking, they are ready for dinner. Since they’re camping at a campground, they decide to get fancy with rice and beans. After eating macaroni and cheese a few nights in a row, this was a delicious, easy, and filling dinner. If you’re going to be camping at all this summer, this is a great option that is easy to feed a crowd. The salsa adds tons of flavor to the rice and beans, and the tortilla chips are a great addition as well. Marc even noted that he wants to eat this meal more often when he’s at home!
Rice and Beans by the Campfire
1 can of seasoned black beans
Make rice according to directions on the box. Heat beans over camp stove until warm, then pour over rice. Add salsa and crushed tortilla chips, and enjoy!