Arizona, Grand Canyon

the canyon, she is grand

After wandering around Sedona for a few hours, I drove up to Flagstaff. Let me tell you a crazy story. My friend Elliot and I are traveling around on our own separate trips, and found our paths crossing in Tucson. We hung out there, talked about road trips and the idea of home and being in one place, among other things, and said our goodbyes with plans to meet up again in a few weeks in San Francisco. Neither of us was sure when we’d be leaving Tucson, but we were both heading up to northern Arizona next. I leave on a Wednesday, take my time driving up to Flagstaff with a side trip to Sedona. Pulling into the first stoplight in Flagstaff I get a phone call from Elliot. I’m thinking he’s calling to see if I’m still in Tucson and can meet up for dinner or some such. I pick up the phone. Hey Elliot, what’s up? Um, he says, I’m right behind you.


So we ended up in Flagstaff at the same time. Which was great because we got to spend some more time together AND go to the Grand Canyon together. What are the odds?

The Grand Canyon was and is breathtaking. I’m really glad we got to see it in the winter, as the sprinkles of snow in places made it feel extra magical and pure, and apparently the visibility is farther due to better air quality in the winter. The canyon is so vast! For me it gave me space and silence to meditate and clear my mind. I kept wondering what it must have been like to stumble on this huge hole in the ground before it became a park that everyone knows about. You’re riding along on your horse, enjoying the scenery, when all of a sudden, outtanowhere, whoa! Big hole that goes on for miles. I bet it feels different when you think it is neverending.

I really wanted to see the sun set over the canyon, and for a minute it seemed like we wouldn’t have a good view. We almost left the park at twilight, but instead decided to drive to some of the other points and found success at what I think (if I remember correctly, Elliot might remember better) was Hopi Point. And the sun did not disappoint. We watched the colors change into deep oranges and reds and at the very end, a column of light appeared perpendicular to the horizon. It was phenomenal and nothing like I’ve ever seen before. It was an extraordinary experience.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Melissa March 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Beautiful! I loved visiting the Grand Canyon. It’s always funny to run into friends while traveling. I saw a friend from high school at the train station in Florence, Italy and couldn’t believe it.

    I’ll be in San Fran in August. I can’t wait to hear your tips on the city. I’ve got another book for you to read too. It’s called “Blue Highways: A Journey Into America” by William Least Heat-Moon. It’s a great road trip book if you need something to read.

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