#22: Grand Canyon, Arizona

A is for Arizona:  Featured Post Card for the A to Z Challenge.

In the middle of a two week trip around the country, we spent three days camping at the Grand Canyon. It is interesting to think about the memories that stand out in my mind – I remember the canyon of course, but it is so massive that you can’t really hold it all in your mind at once. The memories that stick are the ones that captured a snapshot in time – a feeling of dread, or wonder – or that revealed a little more about someone’s character.

I remember laying awake in the tent at night, listening to coyotes howling in the distance and wondering if they would come to our tent. What would I do if I heard snorting and snuffling outside the thin tent wall? What if a scorpion or rattlesnake found its way into our tent – or worse, my sleeping bag!?

I learned that my Gram was too claustrophobic to sleep in our tent with the four of us (it easily held 5 people) so she slept in the minivan all night. She at least was safe from the coyotes and the rattlesnakes.

I remember stopping at the general store for eggs and bacon for the morning’s breakfast, and charcoal (or was it wood?) to cook it on. I learned that my dad makes an excellent camp breakfast – and that Nature created eggs to be cooked in the remnant of the bacon fat in the same battered metal pot. Mmmmm. Bacon.

I remember hiking and hiking and hiking in the summer heat. We travelled down one of the hiking trails into the canyon for a little while, but turned around after a half hour to complete the much more challenging hike back up to the Rim. I learned I don’t like to sweat a lot.

I remember being in awe of the massive open space of the canyon. I grew up in Connecticut, with frequent visits to New York City, or Boston, or other large, dense cities, so the volume of open air in the canyon was nearly incomprehensible. How could there be so much nothingness, empty space, voids? I could wrap my head around the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, but I couldn’t wrap my head around how a tiny, miniscule river as seen from the canyon rim could have carved such a large scar into the Earth’s surface.

I remember patiently waiting for the sunset at Hermit’s Rest, surrounded by my family, and being amazed and awed by the vibrant pink and purple hues displayed across the sky. I remember my first real insight into “photography”, when I was so impressed by the black silhouettes of the gnarled trees against the neon sunset I had to take dozens of photos (remember, this was the year 2000, so our digital camera saved photos to FLOPPY DISKS in batches of 7-12).

post cards 003

I was a petulant hormonal preteen when we visited the Grand Canyon in 2000. There are only a few pouty photos of me from our visit, as I actively avoided having my picture taken. But looking back, I was really only unhappy that I was being forced to be in the photos – the visit itself to the Grand Canyon was fantastic.

***

Thanks to the timely post by Katka over at KatkaTravels.com, I learned about the Blogging from A-Z Challenge in time to sign up this year! Over the month of April, I’ll be featuring my post cards for all 26 letters of the alphabet. So get ready to see more of my massive post card collection!

***

Have you been to the Grand Canyon? What do you remember most about your visit?

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Categories: A to Z Challenge, Arizona, Memories, Post Cards

Tags: , , ,

8 replies

  1. Such great memories! Thinking about scorpions in my sleeping bag gives me the heebie-jeebies. I have never been to the Grand Canyon, or Arizona, or anywhere out west. You camping adventure definitely reminds me I need to go!

    • They give me the heebie-jeebies too…. but after living in Arizona for three years, I learned that they don’t just stay outside. My coworker out there did some major work in his backyard, disturbing their natural habitat, and he woke up in the middle of the night in bed with a scorpion under his covers!

      Despite the terror I feel about these little creatures, it is definitely worth a visit. The landscape is so extremely different to anything in the North / East.

  2. What a cool theme! I love postcards, especially when I get them sent to me in the mail! Looking forward to your other posts!

  3. Interesting post. The Grand Canyon was beautiful. Seeing the post card brought back memories.

    Good Luck with the A to Z challenge.
    If you have a chance, I’m at:
    http://www.kmnbooks.com/karens-shenanigans

  4. Is it wrong that I was thinking: “whuuuut? She doesn’t know the magic that is bacon grease?” Then I read a little further and realized you were a youngin’.

    The Grand Canyon is certainly very awesome! It’s amazing what nature is capable of.

    • Hahaha thanks for the laugh! I was young (13?) and until that point, 95% of any cooking I’d seen done was done on a stove. Surprise surprise, stoves aren’t really necessary for delicious food. In fact, my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I spent an entire summer with only a mini-fridge and a George Foreman grill because his fraternity’s kitchen was being renovated. That was surprisingly the healthiest food I’ve ever eaten!

  5. I love the postcard theme! We were visiting the Grand Canyon on the day you posted this. What an amazing, awesome place!

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