The Grand Canyon is More than a Big Hole

The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  Some of you out there might just think it is a big hole, but it has so much more to offer than that.  On my recent trip out west it became one of our goals of the trip to make our way to the Grand Canyon.  We left Las Vegas just before noon on Sunday in hopes of making out way to the canyon in time to see it during the day.  We headed into the unknown with nothing but our iPhone GPS to lead us there.  We eventually found some road signs that helped us find the exact part of the canyon we wanted to visit, but without our iPhones we would have been lost.

About a half an hour or so into the trip we managed to make our way across the Hoover Dam. (I always feel so dirty saying that as I feel people look down upon me for my potty mouth.)  The traffic was quite intense as there were signs stating that every single car had to pass an inspection before traveling over the dam.  We did not have to stop, nor did half the other cars on the road, and we made our way across the structure.  We did not see any water though as we would later learn the lake is at one of its lowest levels since the dam was built.  You can actually see difference of where the water should be and where the water currently is from the color on the rocks.  It is quite low if I do say so myself.  (Las Vegas has actually expressed interest in the fact that they could be losing their water supply in the next five to ten years if something is not done to fix this issue.  They are in the middle of the desert after all.)

About an hour later we turned left and headed toward the rim of the canyon we were hoping to see.  Not knowing a thing about the canyon I did not know what to expect on the ride there.  From bus to bus that passed us going the other direction I figured we were headed the right way.  We actually passed quite a few little diners and bars that give the title hole in the wall a whole new meaning.  We did not stop, however, as we were scared we might not make it out alive.

After about seven to ten miles on this paved road we turned right to head to the actual canyon.  The reason why I bring up the fact that this road was paved is the next fourteen miles were all on unpaved, under construction, dirt roads.  It was miserable allowing us to only drive a little bit over twenty miles an hour in fear of falling down the side of the mountain or hitting one of the random wild cows and goats that made their homes in the fields all around us.

Eventually we began seeing helicopters circling around overhead so we knew we were close.  That was just about when I saw the actual size of this incredible canyon.  It took me everything to keep the car on the road at the sheer size of this massive canyon.  Words cannot do it justice as to the size of this hole.  Anyone that says this is just a big hole in the middle of the desert has not seen it for him or herself.

We find a parking lot, pull in, and head to the only building for what seemed like miles.  The canyon sits on Indian grounds to the folks running the services to tour the canyon were all of Indian descent.  We head into the offices to decide what we wanted to do for our tour and started looking through the prices.  This is when it got silly.

The reason why we chose this rim of the canyon was due to the fact they had a skywalk that went out and over the canyon.  Sheryl had stated that she wanted to see the canyon one, but wanted to walk out over the canyon on this skywalk even more.  Ian and I took a backseat while she did this and had lunch rather than risk our lives for a quick glimpse of the canyon floor.  Outside of all of that, it was an additional fee on top of the already staggering rate to see the canyon.  Lunch just seemed like the better choice.

The canyon is so big that it can reach upwards of four miles across at its widest point.  Think about that for a second.  You are standing here.  Four miles away from you is the other side of the hole in the desert.  The most impressive thing about this canyon is that the running waters of the Colorado River created it all.  The river still runs at the bottom of the canyon, some 4,000 foot below you, but is no where near what it used to be to be able to create a massive hole like this.

As we were looking at the edge of the canyon and snapping picture for picture, it came to my attention that there were no guardrails anywhere alongside the edges of the canyon.  I could literally walk right up and stare over the edge, throw a rock or two, and stare death right in the face.  One slip and a fall could lead to me tumbling down the side of the canyon.  This intrigued me enough to ask multiple people throughout our tour just how many people had fallen in to the canyon.  The answer that I got time and time again shocked me.  Just last year Yellowstone National Park lost seven lives in their park.  They have guardrails.  No one has ever fallen over the edge at the Grand Canyon.  (There was a story that I was told about a man from Ohio who drove his car over the edges of the canyon.  His wife left him and he was so upset he grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and headed west.  He would end his life in the canyon by driving his car over the edge.  The gentleman that told me this said he actually witnesses the incident.  I could not imagine the carnage and the crew that had to clean that up.

After spending time at three various stops along the west rim of the Grand Canyon we managed to find our way back to the clubhouse.  Before we left we managed to grab a certificate that confirmed out visit to the Grand Canyon.  We grabbed our free sheets of paper and headed to the car.  It was time to make the six-hour journey back to LA but not before we took one last look out over the canyon.  As the sun was setting I took some time to reflect on the day.  The Grand Canyon impressed me beyond belief and I am extremely glad that we made the journey to the edges of the canyon.  The photos and the verbiage do not quite do the canyon justice but trust me when I say that this is one of the most incredible things that I have ever seen.