Arizona, Community, Journal, North America, Sunset Sundays, USA

Sunsets Over the Grand Canyon

This was the last sunset of Rob’s and my road trip across the US, my first road trip ever.  Rob was moving from Florida to LA, and I had built a somewhat convoluted route that ended at one of the most spectacular natural sights in the US.  However, never having been on a road trip before, I placed pins in the map without considering travel time or time of arrival.

We raced up the nearly empty endless road which lead to the national park, watching the sun slip below the tree line.  It was going to be close, but there was no other option; Rob started work in two days, so it was now or never.  I ditched my hopes of a burro ride or even of a hike down to the bottom of the abyss, but at least I would get to see it.  We parked the car at the first spot we found, not sure of exactly which part we were about to see, and ran to the overlook.  The Grand Canyon.  Huge.  The sun was still high enough to be able to see the vast expanse clearly, but it was sinking fast.

I had heard the best viewing times for the Grand Canyon were sunrise and sunset.  Since I have never seen it any other way, I can only say that as the orange sun poured over the stone the rock returned the most brilliant strata of color.  We stayed until dark, only about thirty minutes, and watched the world of this national treasure change colors until the distance was swallowed in night.

The Grand Canyon is one of the many staples of the US sites.  However, like Mount Rushmore and the Alamo, I don’t know many people who have gone to visit, but everyone in the world has seen pictures.  It makes sense, to me the trip out is hard to fit into a limited travel schedule with only 7 vacation days a year.  Unless you live nearby, it’s not exactly a day trip, but it’s not what most Americans would consider a great vacation- it’s like the Dude Ranch vacation my Mom always tried to sell us on growing up, when all we really wanted to do was escape to the beach.  So sights like this are left in a travelers No Man’s Land, where the people that make the trip out are dedicated travelers, and we had made it.

I would like to go back, ride a burro, take a hike, but, there is so much else to see and so many places to go, I’m not sure I’ll make it, this might be it.  If we had arrived earlier in the day, we probably wouldn’t have stayed until sunset.  So maybe it was best that we were running behind, and didn’t arrive until sunset.  The only first hand view of the Grand Canyon I may ever have is bathed in vibrant oranges, reds, purples, and blues that came out during our sunset.  So, in my mind, the Grand Canyon stays this massive work of nature painted with all the beauty of a Monet, and it’s a pretty great thing to know that this spot of remembered majesty is sitting out across the skyline of my country.