I arrived in the USA after a trip around Europe with my girlfriend not a week ago. We weren’t here long before we decided to take a road trip, not just any road trip but one along Route 66. Along the way happened to be The Grand Canyon, so why the hell wouldn’t we go.
We arrived real early after camping in the nearby wood over night. A lot of people choose to stay in the park itself but it was full, in reality it didn’t matter too much, we literally set up camp and went straight to sleep after some star gazing. The park is around an hour off the main road through towards Hoover Dam, it’s $30 per vehicle so a bargain for one of the worlds best sights.
We paid, parked and went to the welcome centre. The guy there was so helpful, he obviously had hundreds of people a day ask him what to do for the day but he spoke to us as if we were his first and last visitors. He suggested a hike that involved a spot called “ooh aah point”, trusting the name we set off. There is a free bus that will take you around the park and it really is worth it as the size of the place will throw you off.
On the bus journey we could just about see the canyon through the trees, it was honestly unspeakable. I’ve seen a fair amount this year including Big Ben, Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum but this was something else, it was like looking onto another planet, like it didn’t belong here. The bus stopped and we walked towards the trail head, ready to hike down The bloody Grand Canyon a few thousand feet, I mean come on that’s cool! When you look down you can’t see the bottom. I’ve seen pictures of the canyon and people have spoken to me about it but nothing comes close to seeing it.
On the way down things started to get a little tricky for me, I discovered a fear. But it wasn’t of heights, I wanted to throw myself off the side. You look out onto this view and it’s huge, you can’t begin to measure it in your mind, so far down, so wide. When I walked I felt ready to fall off with every step. I have later looked into this and apparently my brain couldn’t figure out what was going on, it felt dizzy and couldn’t work out depth, it came to a conclusion that I was falling. Apparently this is quite common and is the reason why we have an urge to throw ourselves off an edge of a cliff or something. So needless to say I was shit scared walking down, ever step honestly felt like my last.
We hiked for around 3 hours down, maybe reached a third of the way down. Our trail had a lot of cut backs like I imagined most would, passing slow people on the way down and standing aside to let those walking up have the right of way, it seemed fair considering the fact they looked dead on their feet. The views all the way down were indescribable, even through I wanted to throw up through fear every time I raised my head to look up I couldn’t deny the beauty. When we reached “our bottom”, many thousands of feet above the actual bottom, we sat and pondered everything, and I mean everything. Silence was all that anyone needed. Then back up.
The way back up was hard and just as terrifying for me, the best thing about it was everyone coming down not only stood aside but offered words of encouragement. We actually got up pretty quickly with many goal setting at the forefront of my mind, to the next bend fast or overtake this couple in front. It wasn’t about a race, it was about feeling safe. I couldn’t help but think “how has this happened?” “How am I now climbing up the side of the Grand Canyon?”.
A lot of my blogs are about getting out there and doing things. A day at the Grand Canyon cost me less than an expensive meal at a restaurant, I mean sure you have to get to Arizona first, but it’s worth anything. This experience was worth more than I have ever spent on any item. Experience over money or objects is a lesson well learnt. Go to the Grand Canyon, you will not regret it, top love from me.