The Professor Goes West//Day 6//The Perfect Tent

Day Six—Friday, May 25, 2018

I woke up a half an hour before everyone else today, prayed my morning prayers and contemplated that I was laying on the ground on a ridge just a short walk from the depths of the Grand Canyon. We hiked over mid-morning to the lookouts near the lodge on the North Rim along the Transcept Canyon. Bright Angel point gave us a spectacular view of the Roaring Springs Canyon and Transcept leading into the Grand Canyon. We all found the 1.4 mile hike to be long and hot, but it was worth it to be sitting on that rock at the point where the two canyons meet and simply feel the awe of the moment.

After our afternoon quiet time we drove out to Cape Royal and the Angel Window. It was here that we saw the depths of the majesty of the canyon. We could see down to the seemingly insignificant Colorado River that carved this great canyon over the course of so many years. We went out over the Angel Window and had the canyon on both sides of us. There was a railing here so the kids seemed more secure. There was a lovely desert garden—the kind of the higher elevation with juniper, gooseberry, currant and other high desert plants.

At Cape Royal the children took great pleasure in being mountain goats as the professor and I admired the depths and grandeur of the canyon and Wotan’s Throne which was topped with trees and who knows what animal life. The North Rim campsite was a conifer forest with the occasional birch grove. Ravens flew about, but we saw no other wild animal.


Again, the professor is the one who did all the research for out trip. After childhood experiences of tents blown across the prairie, those that did not keep out water, and ones difficult to set up, he spent days scouring the Internet for the perfect family tent.

It needed to:

  • Have a full rainfly that went all the way down on all sides except for the entrance
  • Have a water-proof bottom that extended several inches off the ground
  • Be engineered in a way that one adult could to set it up and take it down alone
  • Be large enough for our six person family with room to grow

We chose the Coleman Octagon 98-2 Room Tent. It was perfect. It is tall enough for all of us to stand up inside. We ended up putting the children all on one half of it and putting up the divider down the middle. The professor and I slept on the other side, and we stored the suitcase with our clean clothes opposite where we slept. We would tuck the kids in about an hour later than normal and then read with flashlights until we were ready to fall asleep. We received compliments about our tent at almost every campsite as well. It was definitely worth the investment.

Other important gear to go with the tent included: a small broom and dust pan, a rubber mallet, a tarp to go on the ground under the tent, and extra stakes. These things come in a handy tent kit.

Coming up tomorrow: dishes and cooking gear!

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