We said goodbye to Sedona this morning, thanking our dear friend Rick for hosting us during our stay. Our departure followed a glorious route north along Route 89, with a brief stop in Flagstaff and Cameron. Turning west onto Route 64, we approached the Grand Canyon from the east, stopping for glorious and spectacular vistas at several scenic overlooks.
After hurriedly setting up camp at the South Rim campground, we were able to scurry to the edge of the canyon to take in this evening's sunset. While Mary faced her fear of heights, I spent some time on a precipice overlooking a dizzyingly deep section of the canyon.
Sitting on the side of the canyon as the sun set, I lay on my belly and looked down over the edge into a chasm whose depth it was difficult to digest. Although I'm not afraid of heights, I did indeed experience a sense of vertigo, and meditated for a few moments on how one's life truly sits on a knife's edge when one visits such a place. One slip of the foot, one miscalculation, and a long and wild ride to the bottom is the result. While the canyon itself represents permanence and the solidity of the earth in one respect, it also demonstrates for us the frailty of humans in relation to the natural world. Quite a metaphor for life in general!
The canyon is overwhelming in its enormity, and breathtaking in its scope. There is indeed so much to see, and we will take full advantage of our few days here. Tomorrow, Mother's Day, Tina will unfortunately spend the majority of the day in the park's kennel so that we can do some hiking that she would naturally resist in her old lady fashion. We feel bad to leave her behind, but we simply have to take in some trails which would just be too rigorous for her old bones. This will be the first time we've ever kenneled her, and we beg her forgiveness in advance!
We are so grateful to be here in this beautiful and awe-inspiring place that is one of the natural wonders of the world. Being here at the Grand Canyon is indeed a turning point in our journey, and it's a place to take stock of where we've been, what we've seen, and how much more of the country is waiting for us to find it. For now, this is a wonderful place to be, and we are joyful to have arrived to this wondrous piece of the earth.