Well, I left the California coast two nights ago? Three? No, two. When you're driving all day long across the desert, it's easy to get lost in time. I almost skipped past the Grand Canyon in my eagerness to get to Nashville and boy, am I glad I didn't. I could have stayed there for days.
As soon as you get past the "Disneyland" madness of trying to find parking (you actually feel like a cowboy in a stand off, ready to draw and lay your claim), and make your way through the throngs of retired Americans in their matching wind breakers, you arrive at the edge of the world, the sheer drop that is, The Grand Canyon.
The first impression you get is the surreal notion that what you're looking at is a fallacy. This couldn't possibly be real. It looks like a giant canvas painted for the purpose of a backdrop that they might use in a movie. The distant walls of the canyon look like smeared pastels, the image wavering from the heat and the distance. It is only in looking directly below your feet, down the terrifying drop, that you are able to see definition in the crumbling sand stone.
The breeze is crisp and the sun is bright, and I'm surrounded by people cracking jokes. "I thought this place was supposed to be big?" and "Idaho man falls over the Grand Canyon." Everyone has a selfie stick - thank god. I would have been embarrassed if I DIDN'T have my stick with me. Although I did do the the old fashioned thing of actually interacting with strangers and asking them if they wouldn't mind snapping my photo for me. I even had a conversation with a Chinese lady - she spoke in Mandarin, and myself in English. The exact words may have been at a loss, but I think we got the jist.
I think it may be that the unplanned destinations we arrive at, are the ones that leave the biggest impressions.
I met two hilarious Americans, old school friends who should have had their own stand up act, who insisted I head two hours out of my way to Sedona. Their description didn't do it justice, but they said, "Makes the Grand Canyon look like a little ditch," or something to that effect. They said, "In Sedona, you're in it." So here I am, and I'm about to go outside and get in it.
Until next time,