The Grand Canyon at First Sight

Updated on April 17, 2020
SaraBrand profile image

My passion is hiking and exploring this beautiful land, in every way I can.

Not without effort, we arrived.

It was a mighty hot June day in Arizona, much as to be expected. We were lucky to have even arrived after our van had broke down in middle-of-nowhere Utah. Undefeated, we left the van behind for repairs and hopped into a rental to drive the remaining miles. While we had originally prepared for this journey with the purchase of a National Parks Pass, we had forgotten the pass in our disabled vehicle, hundreds of miles away. So, thirty dollars later we entered the park with 2 hours of sunlight left. Not ideal, but such is life. When we arrived, the heat felt like a welcomed kiss upon our skin after the rental van's torrent air conditioning treatment. How excited I was to see my husbands reaction to this massive creation. We stretched our legs, and headed for the massive abyss that surely must be the canyon.

Grand Canyon, June 2019.
Grand Canyon, June 2019.

We stood there at the edge of the Earth.

As we neared the first edges of the canyon, I watched as his face begin to lighten. Awe overcame his expressions and we stood in silence. The summers dry, harsh wind beating our faces but we remained unable to turn away. Tears blew sideways across my temple and my husband wiped them into my hair. He turned to his left to look at me, and with the biggest smile I had seen in so long, he embraced me as we stood there at the edge of the Earth. We spoke no words, for no words could add any benefit to this splendor.

Atop the Navajo Bridge on Route to The Grand Canyon
Atop the Navajo Bridge on Route to The Grand Canyon

If they learn by trial, they won't need a second lesson.

My Husband and I live on the road six months out of the year. Needless to say, life on the road makes it difficult to treat yourself to the pleasures most often found simple. Today however, was different. We walked from the edge of the canyon to a more populated spot, an ice cream parlor; well placed. My husband took me by surprise when he suggested we go inside to take a peek. One Rocky Road and one Cookies and Cream later, we found ourselves sitting on the side of the Canyon watching the parents of two children haphazardly teach their kids to not go near the edge, but to also have fun. The father showed off his lack of fear of falling, while their mother pleaded for their obedience. If they learn by trial, they won't need a second lesson. We finished our cold treats and decided to leave before it went south.

This is what life is. An audience to the earths performance.

Making the most of the short amount of sunlight that we had, we drove to a nearby trail to explore a bit. We walked along the narrow way, sending prayers for sure-footedness. All the while we told stories we had read about people falling to their untimely deaths. Stories of people who took selfies that would be their last, or backed up one step too far for that perfect snapshot. Morbid tales they were, but what else does one think when they walk along such a place? This kind of raw beauty paired with such high risk of death upon accidents, puts mortality into your immediate view.

Embarrassingly enough, I don't possess even the mildest amount of balance. So when the trail got more narrow than I felt comfortable with, we headed back up the canyons side. After finding a rocky wall with a perch to land on if needed, we stayed for the big finale - a sunset over the Grand Canyon. We watched as the colors changed from tans and oranges to shades of the deepest red wines and the lightest of lilacs. Until suddenly, it was cold and dark. It was time for us to depart and begin our nightly search for a parking lot to find sleep.

We drove for awhile in the middle of nowhere. The moon, far enough away to allow the stars the spotlight, stopped us in our tracks. We pulled off the empty highway to nowhere and watched them dance for us. An entire stage full of stars, as we sat alone in the audience on the side of the desert road. This is what life is. An audience to the earth's performance, shared only by your deepest love.


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    • Ronda Cook profile image

      Ronda Cook 

      2 months ago from Sullivan, MO

      LOVE this, Sara! Very well written and gorgeous photos (of course). Thanks for sharing!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Thanks for sharing your experience. The photos are amazing. I look forward to reading more about your travels.

    • lizmalay profile image


      2 months ago from USA

      So breathtaking! I started hiking after I moved to the US following my marriage to my husband. I never been a fan of outdoor before but, living in Utah has changed my perception towards this activity. I'm still learning. Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip and photos!


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