I am a day late with my post, but here is the letter G — the Grand Canyon.
My first trip to the Grand Canyon was probably about 10 years ago. It was part of the road trip my best friend I took our daughters on to visit Disneyland. It was my friend Jennifer who wanted to spend a couple of days there; I had absolutely no desire. After all, it’s just a big, pretty hole in the ground. How much time can you actually spend looking at it? I figured my time there would be pretty much the same experience as Clark Griswold’s was in the movie Vacation.
I could not have been more wrong. The Grand Canyon is one of the most stunning, breathtaking places on this planet. It is impossible to ever get tired of looking at it. Pretty much every time you look out upon it, you find yourself thinking, “This can’t be real.” It is just too beautiful to be real. The way it looks changes all the time, depending on how the sun is hitting the Canyon. I found myself taking so many pictures just because EVERY picture was beautiful. It’s hard to tear yourself away from it. I made sure I saw it at least once at sunrise and once at sunset. I spent a lot of time wondering what it would be like at the bottom. I also wanted to hike it — ANY of it — just to say I did it. But I did not come prepared to hike on that trip, and if you’re going to hike the Canyon, you have to be very well prepared in many ways to do this!
Which is what I learned two years after my first trip when I joined Team in Training/Hike for Discovery and did fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in exchange for training and a trip to the Grand Canyon for a hike. On that trip, I got to hike about a mile or so down the Bright Angel Trail, which is the trail the mule trains also take. The we hiked out. In my training I learned to allow twice as much tome to get out as it took to go in, and that turned out to be very true. We hiked for about an hour down the train into the Canyon, and it took a good two hours to hike back out. I had all the equipment — a Camelback for water, hiking boots, trekking poles. And it was one of the most memorable experiences in my whole life.
One of my bucket list dream vacations is to hike to the bottom, spend a couple days at Phantom Ranch hiking along the river, then hiking back out. When I finally get to take that trip, you KNOW I’ll be writing about it here!
I’ve never been there, but my wife described the experience of looking at the constantly shifting light and colors in the canyon as a fan dance. I hope to get there one day.