This morning we got the crew up pretty early for a 7:00am breakfast. Their instructions were to come to breakfast ready to get in the vans so we could drive to the Grand Canyon. And that’s exactly what they did.

Coral brought the lunch-makin’s she picked up for us on Thursday, and as soon as we were done eating, we made PB&J sandwiches and assembled our lunches. Then we got in the vans and drove 3 and a half hours to the Canyon.

What a place. The pictures I took are completely inadequate (and would be still even if I didn’t have dust and/or condensation on my camera’s sensor). The Canyon exceeds my skill as a photographer by a long shot. But I will share a few shots anyhow.

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When we were done taking in the canyon, Warran gave the kids a cactus tour. He, Melissa, and a few of the more tired kids had hung back during the last bit of hiking/canyon viewing, and he found several species of cacti being cultivated right there at the visitors center. Any die-hard Pathfinder will know that earning the Cacti Honor requires identification and either a photo or a sketch of five different cacti species. So we knocked that out then and there.

Then we set out for Flagstaff. The consensus was that we needed to eat some authentic Mexican cuisine while we were in the area, and since I couldn’t find a Taco Bell (ha ha!) we asked one of the park rangers for a recommendation. He came through in spades, but didn’t give us a whole lot to go on: “There’s a really good place near the Target store in Flagstaff.”

I got out the GPS and punched in “Navigate to, point of interest, in city Flagstaff, Retail Stores, Target” followed by “Navigate to, point of interest, near destination, restaurant.” That listed a Wendy’s, Chili’s, and a “Casa Bonita.” I figured that was it, so off we went.

We found the Target, but didn’t see the restaurant right away. I needed to pick up some innertubes and tire patches for our bike repair project, and the kids were out of van-snacks. So in we went. I didn’t find the tubes or patches, but we did find the chips. Meanwhile Shaun went exploring and found that the restaurant was right across the street, but it was named “Plaza Bonita” rather than “Casa Bonita.”

When we walked in, I requested a table for 22. That would be 18 of our group (Chris stayed behind), plus four from Karen Littell’s. They found us a room and set us up. The kids were really tired when we left the Canyon, but they perked up at the restaurant. The food was good, and the service was pretty great! While we waited for the check, Shaun went out again, this time looking for a Walmart to buy the needed innertubes & patches. He found them, so we’re good to go tomorrow.

Then it was back on the road again. We arrived on campus a little after 10:00pm. I think some people might sleep well tonight.