Friday, November 25, 2016

Going Backwards - The Grand Canyon

It's Black Friday and other than shopping, although I did a bit of that too - how could I not, it's time to relax after a busy week.  Giving thanks is tiring work!  Now, it's time to catch up on my trip from the Canadian prairies to Arizona.  On the road there was less time than I thought and once we arrived I was hit with a run of edits on the upcoming series.  Desert Justice - next spring... so excited!

But all that aside, I still want to finish up the highlights of the trip that finally brought me here to Arizona and a little haven from the cold winds of fall in the Saskatchewan run up to winter.

I last left you on the trip at Page, Arizona where we went through the amazing Antelope Canyon that is part of the Navajo Nation.

I was rather looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon because I'd been there once before and had seen a whole lot of nothing.  Don't get me wrong.  It wasn't that I was unimpressed, it was that I could see literally nothing.  The year I graduated high school was the first and last time I saw the Grand Canyon until last month. Actually, that long ago trip couldn't really be classified as seeing much of anything except a foggy drizzle that settled over the canyon and allowed little to be seen.

I wrote my first travel journal all those years ago.  And it looked something like this - never mind, it looked exactly like this.  In fact, this is it - yes, I kept it.

Excerpt (disclaimer:  I even then fancied myself a writer, but I still had a long ways to go):

"The Grand Canyon really wasn't that great.  Zion was miles and miles better.  I think Grand Canyon would have been just as nice if we'd had time to take the mule trip, but as it was there was only one lookout view and you could walk to the edge of the trees and see it.  There was only one souvenir shop, food place and groups of cabins.  Couldn't see much of the canyon."

And while that was what my seventeen year old self thought of the Grand Canyon on that long ago family trip, times have changed.  I remember it was a rainy, foggy day.  The tail end of the day and dad had driven for hours.  He wasn't in the best of moods and I'm betting that he only wanted to get to the hotel and call it a day.  But you can hardly just skip past the Grand Canyon.

But that day, maybe we could have.  I remember that we couldn't see even halfway into the canyon because of the fog.
And after a rather disappointing stop we climbed back into the station wagon and headed off with a sigh of relief I'm betting on my father's part and one of disappointment on my mother's.  I remember writing about what I saw in the backseat while worrying about the pimple that had unexpectedly appeared the day before.

So this time around I was really looking forward to actually seeing the Grand Canyon.  And I was really impressed with the fact that yes, there is now more than one lookout.  Although, I'm sure then, there was as well.  What I do know, is that there was a lot more to see this time.  The weather cooperated and it was a glorious day.  The chances to get close to all that beauty were everywhere.  I loved the history of the canyon and those incredibly brave people that actually attempted to first scale it.  Then there was the heart wrenching story of the plane crash knitted amongst all the natural beauty.  It was an awe inspiring place.  I'm glad I finally made it back.

So now the Grand Canyon is behind me and so is thanksgiving.  But I can still give a bit of thanks.  So here goes.  I'm thankful for so many things.  But this time, I'm going to pick one little thing - that journal.  I'm thankful that on that long ago trip, I kept my first travel journal that has reminded me in the years that followed to hang on to the dream.  That journal reminded me to keep believing that one day I would be a writer.  I suppose what I didn't know back then was that I was aways a writer, it would just take me awhile to grow into being an author.

What did your teenage self have to say?  What would they tell you now?

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Rebecca Douglass said...

I love it. I didn't keep a travel journal until I got out of college (well, I didn't do much traveling before then, so I guess that was my first chance). But I, too, had an early visit to the GC of which I remembered...nothing. Of course, I was 4 at the time, and was far more impressed by our stop at Dinosaur National Monument, where they had a BUS to ride from the parking to the visitor's center. Yeah, I'd never been on a bus before and was greatly excited. Apparently the Grand Canyon had nothing so glorious to offer a 4-year-old :D

Ryshia Kennie said...

Hi Rebecca - I think you might be right as far as the Grand Canyon and four year olds. Interesting what we remember isn't it?