The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, I was flying over it at 35,000 feet. I was coming home from visiting family in Louisiana when the captain came over the loudspeaker to announce that those of us on the right side of the plane would have a great view of one of America’s finest wonders. Even from my viewpoint high above the clouds, I could tell that this canyon was spectacular. Having never had a desire to visit it before, I quickly added the Grand Canyon to my list of must-see American sights.
With my hot air balloon ride canceled, I filled up my gas tank and made my way out of Sedona for the two-hour drive to the Canyon. Despite the chilly air and scattered storms, the gates to get in were packed. At the South Rim, I followed the caravans down the road until I found a visitor’s center. From the parking lot, I couldn’t see a darn thing and began to wonder if I had stopped at the right place. As I got closer and closer to the canyon’s edge, I saw that I was definitely in the right place.
Words cannot describe what an amazing view the Grand Canyon has to offer. Pictures do not do it justice. It’s like being in a painting. Everything blends together into natural perfection and you just have to sit back in awe and soak in each speck of beauty.
I was completely stunned and overwhelmed by the Canyon. I can’t imagine anyone traveling to this place and being disappointed. I was blown away. I wandered around to various vista points, sat on a bench and thought about how I would write about such a magnificent place to fully explain how dumbstruck I was. Turns out, there is no accurate way to explain it. The Grand Canyon is not something that can simply be read about or watched or seen; it has to be experienced to truly understand why it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.
Everywhere around me, people were snapping photos and talking about the view before them. You could tell who was a seasoned visitor and who was there for the first time. Those who were seeing the Canyon for the second, fourth, or twentieth time, spoke of the landscape with utter appreciation and respect. Those who were newbies like me spoke in exclamations: “Wow!” “Amazing!” “I can’t believe it’s so big!” As the rain started to fall, people scurried back to their cars and buses, but not me. I strolled the Trail of Time as my sleeves were pelted with raindrops and then hail. I even ate a piece of hail that landed on my hand just to say I did it.
As I wrapped up my journey, I stopped to buy souvenirs and write postcards to my niece and nephews. I tried to tell the kids how incredible the Canyon was and how much I knew they would love to see it. Young or old, it is a place everyone should see in their lifetime.
And one that will never be forgotten.