Go West Young Man
While on my recent trip to Phoenix, Arizona I had the privilege of having a little free time at the end of the conference week to head out to see the Grand Canyon. I don’t think the location was ever on my “must see” list but looking back on it should have been. I was close to visiting almost two years ago while doing adviser training out in Flagstaff but missed the field trip with the advisers and got in the day after. Ever since then I have been looking for an opportunity and that time had finally come.
The day trip required a very early wake up call and working around AIGA town hall meetings but I made it happen. At the beginning of the trip there was a brief stop in Sedona (where I would retire to in an instant) where I got to see the red rock formations. Moving on from there we had a pit stop in Indian country to see the little Colorado river that runs through the reserve. To be quite honest it was the most disconcerting part of the trip. The “gift shop” on the reservation was like any other in AZ and I refused to buy anything that was mass produced. It was really a letdown but I am sure if I went on a tour that was more directed towards the Native Americans I would have had a different experience. I guess I really never had any direct contact with the state of the Natives and it really makes me sad to see the result of what our nation is capable of in all of it’s glory and shame.
OK, sorry… ADD i guess. Back on track to the Grand Canyon. There were three stops along the southern rim of the canyons. The first and second were very limited and it really looked like most of those stops were limited in what you could get to. I feel like I got some ok shots but not many that I was really blown away by. I really went in cold without any approaches to being with. Landscapes really are not my thing, if anything I can get around an urban scene but these wide open spaces are really difficult to deal with. I think the thing I have the most trouble with is haze or really visibility towards the farther parts of the scene. I think at some point I want to go on a vacation/workshop somewhere scenic.
The last part of the trip was the main viewpoint from the south which was more of a village. There was also access to the Bright Angel Trail which I decided to take a hike down. From previous experiences (Wandering around SF / Alcatraz and getting lost in Stanley Park / Vancouver, BC) I knew to pace myself and not bite too much off. Unlike my previous adventures the hike back would be a hell of a lot steeper navigating the switchbacks. I went down about between a half to a full mile down the trail and then headed back.
During my hike there were plenty of opportunities for me to sit and take it all in, and that I did. I really wish I had more time there and relax. For what few hours I did have I felt like it was the closest to meditating I’ve ever been. I found myself just looking out into the canyon and clearing my head. I need more of that, A LOT more of that. I need some more time off when it comes around because I DO NOT want to burn out again when there is so much coming up. Come February the madness starts up all over again.