We originally planned a six-day run from Dayton to the northern California coast near Robyn’s father’s home.
A few days into the trip, we received an email from Robyn’s step-sister who lives a few miles from her mother, Lois, and Robyn’s father, Claude. She had heard from Claude that we were on the way, and that our route would take us near Grand Canyon. She knew of Claude’s desire to see the Grand…it was a dream that had not been fulfilled so far in his 89 years of life, and the opportunities were distant….
She wondered what we thought of their putting Claude on a plane to meet us in Flagstaff, visit Grand Canyon with him for a day or two, and then ride the last few days with us up to his home.
She and her husband would bring Lois into their home while Claude was with us, and we could take as long as we wanted to get him home.
Wow, we had to think about that one….for about a second.
What a grand idea!
We slowed down for a couple days in Albuquerque so the plane ticket could be bought, we made reservations at the campground in Grand Canyon, and we bought a cot for Claude to use in the coach.
It all went off like a plan that had been in the works for months!
We had so much fun that we extended our time at Grand Canyon to 9 days, and made reservations for a week at Zion National Park (another dream for Claude). While there, we visited Bryce Canyon National Park (another dream). On the way to Zion, we surprised Claude by stopping for the night outside Sin City….I’m sorry, Las Vegas….and making a quick foray into its glitter and sound….
Although Claude had visited Yosemite many times, the most recent was at least a dozen years ago….and it was practically on our route to his house.
We managed a run into Sequoia National Park for an hour, then on to Yosemite for three days.
What we had all initially expected might last for 6 or 7 days turned into a three-week odyssey through 5 national parks and countless other historic or geologic wonders!
Through it all, Claude was self-sufficient and energetic. He was excited to shoot stills and videos of everything he saw, and emailed reports with photos to Lois each day.
I thought you would enjoy my photos of Claude basking in the Grand and Bryce environments and shooting everywhere he went. You’ll notice he was not content to stand at the railing and shoot like all the tourists….