One Moment at Grand Canyon Can Change Everything If You're Not Watching

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What's more cliché than a weekend at Grand Canyon?

That's a trick question.

I think I can boil down Grand Canyon visitors to two types: those who say, "Wow" and those who say, "What's the big deal? It's just hole in the ground."

Wait!  Hold your slimy, rotten tomatoes for a more opportune target than your computer monitor. But yeah, I totally agree.

We took Ania to Grand Canyon. Long before she even arrived from the Ukraine (see that?  It's just Ukraine, internets. No "the." I'm done now.), we planned this one out.  By email I asked her if she'd like to go and her answer came back really mega-vague like, "ARE YOU A CRAZY AMERICAN?? OF COURSE I WANT TO GO!!!"

She was looking forward to it the day we picked her up at the airport; yet it would be about eight weeks before we'd go.

We arrived at the Canyon on a windy, cold afternoon in October and we knew a nasty soaker of a storm was coming any moment. Before setting up camp, we roamed around the South Rim's scenic overlooks. Here's how that works.  You park, you walk a bit, and then WHAMO you're standing on the edge of the Earth's grandest crevasse with 400 other folks jockeying to snap their own pictures and say things like, "Yep. That's a big hole." And then they go about feeding jerky and Snickers bars to the overfed, overweight, squirrels that look like good contenders for Biggest Loser.

I surveyed the scene. Volunteers from the Arizona Moutaineering Club were rappelling down the cliff sides to collect trash. The wind whipped and chilled me to the bone. I turned to Ania and almost said something stupid like, "Eww, it's cold, isn't it?" until I focused on her.

She wiped her face with her palm and her cheeks were red and wet from crying. "I can't believe I am really here at the Grand Canyon," she said.

That moment made my day.  My whole year.


+3 / 0
# MikeP 2010-12-02 10:39
Great story and love the pix
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