so i’m going to divide my grand canyon trip into at least a couple parts, because it entails a couple of parts. this will make sense, i promise.
so after sleeping on the picnic table, i got up and warmed myself in my car for about 20 minutes so i could feel my fingers and toes again. then i hurried over to the backcountry office that opens at 8am. as i had mentioned, i had been hearing that hiking down into the canyon fills up pretty quick, and sometimes folks have to wait a few days for there to be an opening to go down. they only allow 90 people a night at the bright angel campground – which is the only campground ALL the way down at the bottom. and i was getting a little nervous that i might not get to go down – hence my desire to get to the office as soon as it opened. and all my worries for nought! i found out that i could hike down to the bottom tuesday, and stay tuesday and wednesday nights down at bright angel campground. perfect!!
(in the foreground of the pic above, the trail that i’ll be hiking down on tomorrow goes along that ridge)
so monday i ended up just taking it easy, exploring this crazy national park. it really is the strangest i’ve been to yet – it’s kind of like its own bustling town. there’s a train line that comes in and out each day. there’s a whole system of shuttle buses, and there’s even a “market village” where there’s a big grocery/outdoor store, post office, and chase bank. kinda strange. but nice – everything you need…and a lot that you don’t! but after i got acclimatized, i decided to take a walk to get my first glance at the canyon. i slowly wandered down a trail that said would take me to the “rim trail”, which edges along the top rim of the canyon, for nearly the entire length of the developed park – about 4ish miles i think. as most people informed me before i came here, it is hard to put into words what a first glance at the canyon makes you feel. it really is this unfathomable formation – no picture can do it justice, and no words can describe. so i won’t even really try – i’ll just say that to take it in that first time, it moved me. a lot. i sat for awhile just staring out at the expanse – TEN MILES ACROSS, ONE MILE DEEP. unbelievable. then i sat some more and finished off donald miller’s book. and i think it was the combination of his words and the view that i was looking out upon that brought me to tears – grateful tears. miller’s last chapter were his kind-of concluding thoughts on what faith and god are all about. and he talked about the real gifts of life that god gives us, are learning to love yourself, and then allowing others to love and come alongside you. and those are two things that have become very real for me this past year, and i really believe miller is right. and those are powerful things.
i spent the rest of the afternoon walking the length of the rim trail, taking in the canyon from all the lookout points along the path. it was really cool. i was excited to get down to the bottom. soon. very soon. i went down to take in the sunset over the canyon after dinner, and was off to bed.
Grand Canyon. day 1
[monday, 10 march]