So I went to the Grand Canyon………
I am not sure how to follow up my trip to the Grand Canyon. It was a mighty powerful experience for me. I left Tulsa for Las Vegas on Thursday. I read for most of the flight. About forty-five minutes before we landed, however, the pilot announced that to our right we could see the Grand Canyon. I contemplated not looking; you know, for dramatic effect. I looked.
From my aisle seat, I stared across the noses of my row companions, whom I hadn’t spoken to yet. I mumbled something about how amazing it looked. Both of my “single serving friends” replied in the affirmative. I told them I was renting a car and driving there when we landed. The woman in the seat next to me responded that the Canyon is an amazing place. In fact, she told me, her father had quit his job and moved their family from Alaska to Arizona after visiting the Canyon for his first time. Now he operates a tour guide service out of Phoenix. This hole in the ground had change that guy’s life and my row companion’s life. Surely it could change my life.
The plane landed in Vegas. I slid into my rental and headed off over the Hoover Dam across the desert to my long-awaited moment. I enjoyed the drive. As night came, it got a little boring, except that as I climbed in elevation the semis on the highway seemed to stand still. I flew by them as the Mazda four-cylinder hurtled me through the darkness toward unexpected possibilities. I also found it mildly stimulating due to the increased fear of being blown off the road by a crosswind or slamming into an elk (signs posted every two miles implanting the image of possible decapitation by mammal in my brain). It really wasn’t all that exciting, but I was scared inside for some reason.
I got to Grand Canyon National Park around 10:30 PM, well after sundown. I found my campsite after some driving around. I set my tent up and opened a bottle of wine I bought en route. I laid down on the picnic table and stared up at the stars for a good hour at least. The Park is pretty isolated from ambient light so interference with the stars was limited. In the morning, I woke up and made my way to the Rim, and this is what I found.
Its pretty amazing to see. I spent the whole day walking up and down the South Rim Trail. I went down the Bright Angel Trail a little way, but it was pretty icy and I was in running shoes, so I decided to save that for my next trip. I met many interesting people. The best story happened at the end of the day. A woman ran up to me and asked me to take a picture of her and her friend. After asking me to take their picture, she exclaimed in an Australian accent ”We just got engaged!” They had traveled around the world to sit on the edge of the Grand Canyon and promise themselves to one another for the rest of their lives, and I was the first person to know. I felt honored to share their moment with them.
The Grand Canyon is an intimate place. It reminds me of the feeling I have after a good session of yoga. You feel blissful, quiet, friendly, yet vulnerable; at peace, but aware that you are still attached to this world. There are no strangers, yet being alone is not strange. I am not sure if that makes sense to anyone but me.
The Grand Canyon is inspiring, spectacular, awesome, and, yes, grand. It is the most amazing sight I have ever seen. Photos do not do it justice. If you haven’t been, you must go. After I got back, I told a friend that a certain song that I was about to play for her was no longer relevant to me. Of course I couldn’t just tell her; I love the dramatic revelation…………