“And the still and the quiet almost took my breath away, though I guess the altitude claimed that first”
We made it up to Hermits Road and the first overlook just a little after actual sunrise, but just in time to miss the busload of people finishing up their Sunrise Tour, so my inability to roll out of bed on time actually paid off greatly. The Grand Canyon at the beginning of March is apparently a popular time- if the day before was any indication- but that Monday morning, most if not all of the overlooks were either empty of people or near enough that we could really take in the expansive vistas and just watch the changing light patterns over the formations.
( There was debate about stopping in at the Geology Museum near the visitors center but we decided against it, which probably ended up being a good thing because the next few days where just chock-full of geological marvels and I think it’s better that I didn’t get my fill of looking at “rocks” on the first stop. Indeed, I ended up buying a really overpriced geology book a couple of days later at a gift shop in Bryce Canyon that I think i’m probably gonna treasure forever, so, no regrets about missing that. )
The Grand Canyon was left behind in our rearview mirror sometime around 9 in the morning, after we stopped for breakfast in one of the cafeteria style restaurants in the Village, and we left by the East Rim exit, stopping at one last overlook on our way out to formally say goodbye. We headed north towards Zion and I remember looking back and wondering if we would ever come back one day and even now I can’t honestly say if I will….i’d love to see the North Rim, but… I almost feel like coming back later would ruin this first and only experience.
A more comprehensive post will follow on how exactly I got to the Grand Canyon from Texas, tips on where to stay and how to get here as well as how to get around, the best places to see and what you can probably skip but, for now…. I will just post these.
This was the first magnificent (though not the first overall) view I got of the Grand Canyon and I sat on a bench near the edge for what felt like ages but was probably closer to 20 minutes, just gazing into the immensity. It felt like I could have sat there and looked for years and still have had some detail to observe, some shifting of the light that would illuminate a surface or ravine previously unseen. It was grand, in all the sense of the word.
I’m on the road and I wasn’t organized enough to get my shit together before I left to have one queued up ready to go. And if that isn’t the theme pretty much everytime I head out on the road, I’m not sure what is. Things like having an itinerary and even just knowing exactly where i’m headed are things I always leave till last minute but….I kinda get addicted to the feeling of throwing things at the wall and seeing something new and unexpected take shape.
The loose plan is currently (over several days obviously cause i’m not totally insane):
Texas —> Grand Canyon —> Zion National Park —> Bryce Canyon —> Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument–> Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park—> Four Corner Monument—> Santa Fe —> Texas
The drive out of Texas into New Mexico is one i’ve done before but this time the colors seemed to just burn even before I had left the flat lands of east Texas. At the first rest stop in New Mexico me and the boyfriend found words and lyrics (Car Radio- Twenty One Pilots) scribbled onto the red faux-adobe walls of the picnic seating area and as the sun set over Arizona as we neared Flagstaff, the sky just burst into cotton candy splendor that felt like the best kind of welcome.
Will be leaving the Grand Canyon sometime tomorrow to head towards Zion and i’m just extremely excited to explore all these new lands i’ve never been to before. I’ve been favored with clear skies, crisp winds and brilliant sunshine and i’m not gonna waste one second of it.
P.s Yes all these photos were taken with my iPhone but I promise the rest are actually being shot with my camera in RAW and JPEG format so…idk, better photos to come.