Or something like that.
But seriously, I'm glad that my brother and B-Reil came along with me to Vegas and then decided to hit LA with me. It was infinitely more fun to have them along than to have gone by myself, something I realized alone at the Grand Canyon. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We said our goodbyes and we were off, Blue Falcon and Yellow Jacket to Las Vegas, Red Fox to...
STARBUCKS!!! I had to catch up on some blogging and plan the day's events. By the way, their chocolate milk sucks.
I decided to hit up the Skywalk at the Grand canyon as opposed to hiking or river rafting it on account of time. Plus it just sounded cool. The Skywalk is this glass bridge over the Grand Canyon that you can see straight through to the 4000ft rocky surface below. Besides the fact that it sounds like one of those things man does to tempt Nature, the prospect of seeing the Canyon like that appealed to me.
The drive wasn't too bad at all - until I got to the last 14 miles to the edge of the canyon. It took me FIFTY MINUTES to drive FOURTEEN MILES up this unpaved, rocky, rough road that wound around and around to the top of the bluff before the canyon. I'm on to their game though. They have this shuttle that goes from the bottom of this unpaved road to the Skywalk area. If you want you can pay to ride the shuttle there and back. Course, once you get to the top of this road there is glorious pavement once again that takes you to the edge of the canyon and the Skywalk itself. It's just for that random 14 miles uphill that there is no pavement. Nice. When I got to the top, I couldn't see out the back window it was so dirty.
I hate to say this, but the land and the Native Americans that live there feel used to me. That's the word that kept coming to mind: used. The Natives eek out a living by doing dances and making cheap crafts for sale, as well as being workers on the tours and bus drivers. Granted, they might not feel that way, but I couldn't help feel that way myself.
The place itself is actually just a tourist trap. The Skywalk is very cool, but I'm not sure it's worth the tour that you have to purchase along with it. It's like 80 bucks for the "tour" (which is just three stops: 2 views of the canyon and some random Native American ranch), and then 80 more bucks for the Skywalk. It seemed like a lot at the time but as I'm writing now maybe it isn't. It took a lot of time though.
IRREGARDLESS!!! The Canyon is absolutely amazing. You really can't imagine the scope without having been there first. There is seriously nothing like it. The pictures you've seen of the Grand Canyon don't do it justice because you can't feel immensity of it from a picture like you can from actually being there. You just feel small. You can see helicopters int he distance giving tours and what not, but they only appear as tiny specs against the backdrop of the Canyon.
AND PEOPLE WERE STANDING SO CLOSE TO THE EDGE!! I kept having flashbacks to Hoover Dam with people going right up to the edge and peering in. I heard this one story later about this couple who were taking pictures near the edge. "Ok back up a little more!" the guy would say. The girl would take a step back. This went back and forth until the girl just fell right of the edge and died. I kept expecting that to happen.
In the end, it was all worth it to see one of the wonders of the world, but, like I said before, it feels a bit empty to do so and not share it with anyone. It would have been more fun to do it with Blue Falcon and Yellow Jacket, or anyone really. I thought for sure I'd prefer to do it alone and meditate or do yoga on the Canyon's edge, but I was surprised to find myself wishing that someone was there to share it with. C'est la vie.
I made the trip down that 14 miles of craproad and drove to Flagstaff, AZ where I stayed the night. Kyle had hooked me up with the senior missionaries from his mission who lived nearby, but something told me to call it a night. I'm not sure why, but it was a pretty distinct feeling that I should pay the hotel for a night rather than drive another 2 hours to stay for free. This whole trip has come together perfectly based on these hunches and impressions, so I decided to go with it and stay the night there. After working out at a 24 Hour Fitness (for free, thanks to some girl who I would bet is from California), I turned in for the night, prepping for the following two days of straight driving.