Something To Chew On
December 3-9, 2018
By Becca Bona
California Chronicles Part V
If you’re just now joining the story, this is the fifth and final piece in a series focused on my first real road trip adventure. Gustav Flaubert seemed to be the most pertinent with these words: “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
As the holidays transform my little city I call home, my travels to the West Coast seem like a full lifetime ago. In fact, as my boyfriend and I packed the car and readied ourselves to head to the Grand Canyon, I was already slightly saddened, knowing that our adventures were coming to a close.
I didn’t, however, know how cool it would be to see the Grand Canyon in person. My boyfriend and I raced against the sun, trying to get to our campsite before the sun sunk over the hills.
Technically, we weren’t staying in the Grand Canyon proper. Those of you who have done this know about the availability of camp sites and how far out you have to plan that. We actually had our hopes set on a first-come-first-serve campground right outside the Southern Rim.
I was driving as we neared the site, my knuckles white on the wheel, feeling as if I was in a race against time itself.
“I wish I could go faster,” I mumbled, staring down the huge RV in front of us which seemed to be crawling slower and slower up each hill.
“Don’t get a ticket,” my boyfriend warned me, glancing at the speed limit signs.
We made it to our campground and were able to save a spot just in time. The grounds were beautiful, and even though there was a low of 40 predicted for that night, we settled in next to our tent, roasting hot dogs and sipping on a few leftover IPAs we had managed to snag in San Diego.
The sheer stillness and the intensity of the stars were enough, I thought, for our stop to the Grand Canyon to be worth it, if not perfect.
The next day, however, when we actually entered the park, I was emotionally overcome at the sheer size of the thing.
“Why did they call it the Grand Canyon?” I kept asking, as we explored a few of the trails that take you around the top of it. “Shouldn’t it be known as the HUGE Canyon? Or the Crazy Big Canyon?”
My boyfriend just shook his head at me, smiling.
We did our best to avoid the crowds and we found ourselves in awe of the canyon, with its new rock faces at every turn. If you squinted you could see the Colorado River way below, a bright blue speck shimmering in the sun.
“Next time we come through,” I bleated as we made our way to the park’s ‘General Store’, “I want to hike down into the Canyon.”
My boyfriend just nodded in agreement.
We had planned only a few hours at the Canyon, a scenic drive made more sense than walking too much as we were on a timeline to make it home.
We spent a total of eight hours there, however, and as we hopped back in the car I knew I’d be back.
It’s just all so grand. You have to see it to believe it.