We made our way up to north in small groups, but by the time we met up at our headquarters, there were an even dozen of us--including a teenager from Taiwan and a 2 year old--although circumstances back at school called two back the next morning. Thursday was spent getting there and getting settled, but Friday was full, starting with several hours with our Park ranger, who took us through the woods and along the rim, showing and telling us things we'd never get on our own. By mid-afternoon, we were ready for food and a rest, but there was so much to do, we didn't want to give over too much time to that. So, on our own, we shopped and explored further.
Saturday morning, several of us got up early to see the sun rise over the canyon, and then some went hiking for a few hours. I spent some time birdwatching along the rim. We met back at the Kolb Studio for an art show, complete with the artists side by side with their art work. Later in the afternoon, our "camp" was invaded by a small herd of elk. The elk are, apparently, quite unafraid of humans and are very bold about grazing in populated areas of the park.
We spent a crazy and enjoyable evening at the El Tovar restaurant (porch seating) drinking hot chocolate and playing a somewhat rowdy game of "Mafia." Much to our dismay, we were so noisy that some of the guest of the hotel sent down word asking us to be quiet! Our students would certainly find that amusing! To be fair, though, there were a few other guests who were at least as loud as we were, so it wasn't all us ;)
Unfortunately, we had to leave early on Sunday to get back for a mandatory staff meeting. But we came away knowing that there was plenty of good material and opportunity for a full-fledged outdoor teaching unit. Never mind, just plenty to see and do, period.