Start: March 7, 10:00am in Phoenix, Az
End: March 7, 9:00pm in Page, Az
Today is the day! We’re going to the Grand Canyon! We’ve come 2,500 miles across the country for this moment, and it’s finally here, but first we’ve got a few other places to explore in Arizona.
First thing on the list is to explore the city of Phoenix. Lined with palm trees, it almost feels like you’re walking through LA. The best part of Arizona, though? No humidity! We’ve all become so used to the humid southeast that we didn’t know heat without sticky humidity even existed. It was clear skies and a beautiful 65 degrees as we strolled through Phoenix with Starbucks in hand. Arizona State University lies within the city, which will be Devin’s new home next year as she sets out to receive a master’s degree in sports journalism! From the clean, pristine streets to the gorgeous architecture and artwork among the city, Phoenix has now become one of my all time favorite cities.
Although we could’ve stayed in Phoenix for the entire day and been satisfied, we are on a mission to the Grand Canyon; so we got in the car after an hour of sight seeing and drove up through Arizona.
The next break out of the car was only a little over an hour away in Sedona, Az where we got to see the Chapel of the Holy Cross and Bell Rock. The drive there was just as wonderful as the sites with cacti and red mountains surrounding the paved road. By about 3:00pm, we had already witnessed beautiful views of the church within a mountain and the huge, bell-shaped rock as well as grabbing some lunch in the quaint city. Then it was time to get back on the road towards our ultimate destination only 2.5 hours away.
Finally, the moment we’d been waiting for had come. The moment we’d driven 2,500 miles across the country to experience. As we approached the south rim of the Grand Canyon, suddenly we felt nervous. Six months ago we made a plan to travel cross-country to the Grand Canyon, and 6 months later, here we were, standing on the edge. To say it was surreal would be an understatement.
As a journalist, I occasionally experience writer’s block, but this isn’t one of those times. Simply put, there is no way to describe the Grand Canyon in its entirety to give it the praise it deserves. Truly a work of God, its beauty expands 277 miles wide, and to think that the vast spread of red and orange hues in front of us was only a small portion was unbelievable.
I’ve traveled to Europe and tropical islands, seen the Eifle Tower light up at night and floated down a river in Guatemala, and I’ve described most of these experiences as breathtaking, but I now realize I was wrong. The Grand Canyon is the definition of breathtaking. When we reached the edge of the canyon, we all stopped. No one spoke. You couldn’t even hear breathing. It was a kind of quiet I’d never heard before.
Looking out and seeing such an expansive and immense abyss makes you feel so small in the best way possible. It was a feeling of knowing there are far more things bigger than you in this world that suddenly calms and settles every problem or fear that once seemed impossible to settle. I thought about how great life can be if you use every opportunity you have to make it that way. Regardless of the bad that comes with the good, that good can be great and that great can be incredible; it just takes some effort to give life all you have, and life will return the favor.
An overwhelming feeling took over as we stood there just gazing, absorbing everything that was happening – the colors, the vastness, the beauty – and I couldn’t help but think, “We did it. We made it.”
Mile count: 2,477
Hour count: 40