John Muir has a way with words

“It will seem as novel to you as unearthly in color and grandeur and quantity of its architecture as if you found it after death, on some other star.”

I’ve seen so much on this trip. Yellowstone changed something in me. Arches made me feel minuscule. The Redwoods and Sequoias too. I feel like I could add a verse to Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” without missing a beat.

But few things have made my jaw drop like my first glimpse of the Grand Canyon.

I actually laughed. I just stopped at the viewing platform and laughed to myself. Because there are no words or ways to translate that feeling. And at the most basic level, it’s just a hole in the ground. But there’s so much shock and awe (Thanks, W!) from a hole that big, it’s ridiculous.

There really isn’t much to say about the Grand Canyon. I have no cool side stories. There’s no crazy background to learn. The Colorado River just got hungry one day thousands of years ago, started eating the rock, and hasn’t looked back since. And even the pictures I have all start looking the same to me when going through them. But they’re all amazing. So I’ll do my best to find the ones that stand out the most.

This one might not be the best shot, but it’s my first view of the Canyon. And I’ll never forget it.

On the bus (absolutely amazing idea and perfectly executed. Good job, US Government!), we bumped into a herd of elk just camped out in the middle of the road. The driver was nice enough to stop and let everyone grab some pictures.

There was no shortage of views to be had along the South Rim.

And I can’t finish without at least a few pictures of the Colorado River! That’s what’s done all of this work, so it needs to get its due as well.

And some self-promotion!

The Grand Canyon is amazing. But it is hard to spend an entire day there since everything does start looking the same. With that said though, I left there with another item to go on my bucket list: hike from the rim down to the river. The Phantom Ranch is dorm-style lodging and it’s actually in the Canyon itself. That would be amazing! Or you could camp in the bottom as well. So I’m telling you right now Internet, that I will do that one day!

And even though it’s completely outdone by the Grand Canyon, I stopped in at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument on the way back towards Flagstaff. I was a little bummed there was absolutely no way to see the mouth of the volcano. But I understand why everything’s protected (protection from erosion mainly, not because it’s unsafe). The sun was setting quick, so I grabbed a few pictures, said goodbye, and wound up in Holbrook, Arizona for the night.

Today might be the Petrified Forest. I’m still undecided on that one. I’m going to try and make Four Corners as well. But I know, for sure, I’ll make New Mexico tonight. So that’ll be another state down!

Thanks again for reading and keeping up with my travels! And feel free to leave comments (so my mom isn’t the only one 😉 )

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One Response to John Muir has a way with words

  1. RMJinAK says:

    I am glad to see you quoting John Muir. If you don’t have a book by him, pick on up. He may be the single most influential person in the movement that established the National Parks system and the idea of conserving our natural wonders instead of exploiting them. I have a couple of quotes that made me think of you: “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving” -Lao Tzu. Also, “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see.” -G.K. Chesterton. Keep on seeing what you see, and letting us see a bit of it, as well, through these updates.

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