Ahh, Grand Canyon. I'd been before when I was young (12?), but remembered nothing about it except that we went for a hike and my dad almost fell over the edge and had to grab on to my 6-year-old brother for support. K, however, had never been, so he was looking forward to it. As soon as we entered the park we stopped at the rim for our first glimpse, and it was pretty awe-inspiring, as expected. We drove all along the south rim to the other side, where we were camping at Mather campground, one of the most developed areas of the park. Surprisingly, even though we were so close to the giant "market plaza," our campground was lovely, shaded, and quiet, a perfect respite from the desert heat. We bought sandwiches at the market, made guacamole, and set up camp.
The next morning we got up early to go on a little hike in the canyon before it got too hot. We chose the South Kaibab trail because it was supposed to be relatively easy and would probably be less busy than the most popular Bright Angel trail, and it was a perfect choice. We were in the shadows most of the way down to "Ooh Ahh Point" and the canyon seemed so much more incredible once we were inside. The majesty of it is lost a little bit, somehow, when you're just looking out over the whole canyon, almost like it is too big for the mind to truly comprehend. Hiking into it, seeing it up close, makes it seem that much more amazing. We almost made it down to Cedar Point but it was getting way too hot and people coming back up looked like they were hurting, so we turned around and made our way back up. We took the shuttle out to Hermit's Rest, stopping at a few of the lookouts along the way but mostly just enjoying the scenery, and then stopped at the market for more food and spent the rest of the evening eating and reading and playing cards.