Three Reasons to Return to the Grandest of Canyons

“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling.”

I am returning to the Grandest of Canyons. For the third time. I leave in less than ten days.

Some people are in awe.
Some people think it’s cool AF.
Some people can’t comprehend why I’d return to the same place over and over.
Some people think I’m insane.

Most people don’t truly understand the draw of it.

For someone who cares so deeply about words; I just can’t seem to ever find the right ones to explain why this place is so special. This quote from a blog a friend stumbled upon when preparing for our first trip is the closest I’ve ever come to the right words.

“If you haven’t been there then I should start by saying this. When you get the chance to go, go. Stop whatever you are doing and just go. Trust me. Life will be there waiting for you when you get back. You need to see this for yourself.”

There are many reasons to return to the Grand Canyon again, and again; but for this trip the following three reasons are on my heart.

Reflection

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

Do you need to leave civilization for 24 days to unplug?

Nope.

But, how often, in our fast-paced never-ending to-do list culture do we turn off the smart phone, computer, or Netflix and just be? We’re busy without accomplishing anything important. We’re stressed out, over caffeinated, and sleep deprived. We think we can do everything. Newsflash– we’re on the fast track to burnout.

Sometimes, in order to slow down we need to get extreme.

Even if I wanted to check up on my email or social feeds while I’m in the canyon– I can’t. No internet, no cell service, no wifi. I’ll get to use a good ol’ fashion pay phone at Phantom Ranch with, get this, a calling card to call home with a brief update. But other than that– it’s me and mother nature. No weather checks, no news headlines, no status updates.

The best part about being unplugged and disconnected from society for a brief period is that you have plenty of undistracted digital-free time for reflection.

There are so many things I am looking forward to on this adventure down the Colorado River, but topping my list is time for reflection and journaling. I’m coming armed with my journal, metallic pink pen, questions to reflect on, and the belief that I will be inspired by everything the canyon has to offer.

Unparalleled views, pretty words, deep thoughts. It’s simple, but it’s happiness.

Growth

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”

Does growth require escape from real life? I don’t believe so.

Growth requires an obstacle, a challenge, a differing view point. Growth is what happens when you make the conscious decision to no longer remain the same– physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Growth is a lot like finding yourself.

I have discovered that some of my best growth happens when I am scared shitless, make the choice move outside my comfort zone, give fear a little wink and a sassy smile, and say “watch me”.

You never truly know what you are capable of until you are pushed to your limits. That is where the magic happens.

I choose growth when I say yes to the Grand Canyon.

I fully expect there to be challenges. I fully expect things to not go 100% according to plan. I fully expect to visit the entire gamut of emotions.

I fully expect to return a better version of myself.

Beauty

“…In this beautiful place that shifts from calm to rage in the blink of an eye.”

There’s a reason the Grand Canyon tops the list of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.

The breadth, the depth, the vastness of the canyon.
The colors of the river, rocks, and sunsets.
The magnificence of the night sky.

The unfiltered beauty of the canyon is one of a kind.

But she also has this menacing power hidden right below the surface of her beautiful exterior. One minute you can be floating down a calm smooth-as-glass tongue of the river; the next you drop into the chaos of swirling raging water with rapids that can easily flip a fully loaded 18-ft oar boat and holes the size of a small house.

Her serenity, strength, and rage are all one beautiful contradiction.

Simple and unrushed one day, adrenaline-filled fast water the next.

Falling asleep under a clear, crisp, brillient night sky; cloud cover that rolls in which forces you to hastily put up your tent to avoid being rained on. The coolness of the canyon that opens up to the hot desert sun.

Words, and even pictures, will never do her beauty justice. It is something you must certainly see for yourself.

———-

The adventure the Grand Canyon brings parallels life so beautifully. Yes, there are many things on my Life List that are not the Grand Canyon; and yes, I keep using much of my allotted vacation time each year to go back.

But I do believe things come to us for a reason. People wait years to win the right to their own Grand adventure down the Colorado River– and three times now we’ve been chosen.

That means something.

She’s not done with me yet. There must be more she has to teach me– and I will be there with an open mind and open heart ready to take it all in.

♥amanda maureen

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