Saturday, January 14, 2017

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on the Grand Canyon - Looking Around

Last week I told you about hiking down the South Kaibab trail at the Grand Canyon.

After we reached the bottom and got settled in at Phantom Ranch, we decided to go for another little hike up Clear Creek trail to the "Stone Bench" overlooking Phantom Ranch.

It was only about 3 miles round trip, but the hike down was so painful. Both knees were bothering me, but I made it.

The next day we headed out on the North Kaibab trail with Ribbon Falls as our goal. We were told that there were four bridges that crossed the creek and then a fifth bridge closer to the falls.

Here's the first one:

At one point we saw a deer on the trail ahead of us. We moved slowly and got so close before it finally jumped down and moved along the creek below us.

Another bridge let us know we were on the right trail:

The scenery around us was so beautiful.

We saw a waterfall in the distance, but it was so small we thought it couldn't be the falls we were looking for.

(The falls are that little strip of white on the right side of this picture)
When we reached this sign we were tempted to shave a mile or so off our hike and cross the river instead of going to the bridge, but some guys at Phantom had warned us that the river was too high to cross safely right now. We trudged on...

The men had said something about going up and back down, but we were dismayed to see how far up we had to go. When we looked down and saw the bridge way below, we were tempted to turn around and go back. We had come this far, we decided to keep going.

It's so hard to show depth in pictures. This was a pretty scary descent over some slippery rocks (with protesting knees). So glad I had hiking poles to help steady myself.

The last bridge we crossed on the way to the falls. (I held onto the railings because the plywood didn't feel too strong!)

We ditched our backpacks behind a rock and traveled a little lighter the last twenty minutes or so. It was kind of exciting to walk along a narrow ledge on this big rock and then hop down a few feet to the ground on the other side.

We were glad we didn't have our packs as we ducked under tree branches and crossed a little stream.

I bet lots of people stop in the summer and take a swim in this nice pool, but it was a little too cold for us that day.

Around some more rocks and we finally saw it. Yes, it was that pitiful little waterfall we saw from the trail before, but we had been told that we could get up behind the falls if we kept going up and around.

A little more climbing and we were there:

The view was worth the hike. 

The ribbon of water fell into a big rock and then rushed over the side.

It continued to splash down the hill over the mossy rocks:

Some of the water fell and then continued directly down the face of the huge rock to the stream below:

We headed back to Phantom Ranch, tired but glad we had seen another part of the Canyon.


Don't we do that in life sometimes? We look ahead and think...that's it? We're going there? We feel let down because we thought the future would be bigger and better, more exciting. 

If we keep going, we often find that the future is even better than we expected. Not bigger, but more beautiful and satisfying than we had hoped. 

The journey may be more difficult than we expected and we may be tempted to take shortcuts, but even the ups and downs make the trip mean more somehow. 

When we finally arrive, we look around and we know that God is there. He's been with us every step of the way. 

"Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate." (Psalm 111:3-4 NIV)

Do you sometimes forget to look around and realize that God is with you and He is leading you where He wants you to go? How can focusing on God help you to see the beauty even in the difficult  and seemingly worthless times in your life?


  1. I enjoyed seeing your photos here. Sounds like a fun adventure!

    1. Thanks, Lynn! It was a wonderful trip!