“Holy sh**.” I whispered under my breath.
Rachel heard me and replied “Dude, I told you so.”
We stood square with each other on a small stone pathway overlooking the countless valleys, ravines, peaks, and plateaus that make up the Grand Canyon.
“This is like church.” I said.
“I know, right?” Rach softly replied.
I’m still not sure what I meant exactly by that comment, it just came out. But, I suspect the way I felt was reverence as I peered down the vastness of the Grand Canyon. Much the same as when I think about a higher power that connects all of humanity.
I know I probably seem ridiculous as I describe a bunch of rocks, but for me it was life changing. I have always enjoyed the natural world, but this was on an entirely different level.
We had driven an extra 3.5 hours north on our way to Las Vegas just to catch a quick glimpse of one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Rach had visited Grand Canyon National Park when she was in high school but hadn’t been back since and this was my very first time seeing its grandeur. I tried desperately to drink in the entire view but found myself thirsting for more. It was incredible. We slowly walked down the pathway past numerous tourists to get a closer look. The canyon seemed to go on forever, as far as my eyes could see.
Even though it was the middle of the winter we were still surprised to see snow sprinkled gently on the southern rim of the canyon. Remember, this is Arizona we’re talking about! In fact it snows so much at the canyon that the entire north rim is closed from December 2nd 2016 to May 15th of this year.
We got back into our car and slowly meandered down the western rim of the canyon stopping at countless lookouts such as Mather Point, Hopi Point, and Hermit’s Rest. Whether it be lengthening shadows, deeper ravines, or the widening Colorado River each new spot offered its own perspective of the canyon. See grand-canyon-south-rim-pocket-map.
Before heading west to Las Vegas we dropped by the backcountry permit office to check on some campsites within the canyon. We had sent in a camping permit request form a few weeks earlier only to have it denied. We would really like to backpack from the north rim to the south rim while we’re in Arizona (Click here for great blogpost where we got the idea). We figured stopping by the office and showing our friendly faces might give us a better chance of getting that campsite permit! Well, we quickly learned that despite our chummy disposition we should have sent our initial permit in a month earlier to lock down campsites for 2 nights in a row so we could hike from the north rim to the south rim.
It was starting to look like we weren’t going to have an opportunity to actually camp inside the canyon. However, just as we were about to give up all hope the park ranger found an opening at the Bright Angel campground within the canyon for one night in early May! So be on the lookout for another Grand Canyon post!