After driving down the coast of California and spending some time in the Southern California coasts and deserts, we headed out to the Grand Canyon. We got to the Mather campground on the South Rim after dark, so we had to set up camp guided by our car’s headlights. We slept well after a long, exhausting day of driving and I woke up the following morning to my boyfriend, Matt, making me coffee. Paradise. Since we weren’t planning to stay another night, we packed up camp and went to the Rim for some views.
Standing on the edge of The Grand Canyon is an experience unlike anything else. You feel small, you feel big, you feel far away… and close. But mostly just small. As I stood there (in my pajamas because I’m awesome like that) I realized that each trip to this canyon has been different for me. While I’ve maintained my personality and my self, I have been such different people at various points throughout my life, especially in my early 20s, and these changes affect the way I relate to the world around me. Last time, in the midst of some serious questioning in my life and that experience’s inevitable feeling of standing on shaky ground, I felt as if I could fall into the canyon at any moment. This visit, however, I was more firmly grounded and I felt as if the canyon was falling away from me as I stood tall and confident. Aside from taking in the great expanse of the canyon below you, there is the almost-unnerving experience of watching great, large ravens flying below you. How often do you look down on birds flying?
After peering into the Grand Canyon and reflecting on my grand self, we left for a short ride through Grand Canyon National Park on horseback. I had never seen these back parts of the park before and it was a very quiet, mind-clearing ride. I’m a long-time horse enthusiast, but this was Matt’s first time on a horse. It was really fun to share something I love with him in a setting that was new to both of us. After a short debate over whether we should stick around to see the sun set over the canyon, we made the responsible choice to head back home before the majority of our driving hours were sunk in darkness.
(The last photo here is from Star Wars… or somewhere in the middle-Eastern part of California and I just like to imagine it is from Star Wars.)