Nothing I've seen or read could have prepared me for the sheer size and beauty of the Grand Canyon. I had never been, but thought I knew what I would be seeing. It's truly a natural wonder. I was reading the park map when it first came into view. Michael sort of whispered a reverent, "Ohhh." I glanced up and did a genuine, real live double-take. All I could say was, "Are you kidding me?" It was magnificent.
I'm impressed that it appears to have suffered little interference from mankind. I understand that humans control the flooding of the river that still winds its way through the canyon, but for the most part I was relieved I didn't have a cell phone signal and there didn't appear to be a Starbucks perched on the edge. There were, however, lots of signs warning people about perching on the edge and that most deaths at the Grand Canyon were due to people falling off cliffs. Most?
Like I said, the Canyon was beautiful. A woman standing near me said, "You can't come here and still be an atheist." Ugh. I wanted to say, "Lady, this is the prime example, Exhibit A, of natural age and processes on the Earth. This ain't 6,000 years old." But I didn't feel like getting pushed off the cliff by an angry mob of Christians. There's still so much to see of this beautiful country. And as much as I get annoyed at America in terms of politics and social issues, America...the actual country...is so beautiful, it hurts to look at it.
Henry, our gigantic dog, seems to be having a blast. When I met Michael, I thought for sure the dog issue would be a deal-breaker. I didn't have dogs, didn't like dogs and avoided dogs at all costs. But here I am, almost ten years later, hugging the crazy dog, taking pictures of him and making Michael buy him a bandanna to wear, so he won't scare people so much. I forget how big he is. Then I see how people jump, gasp and recoil when he comes loping towards them. It's like we're walking our pet T-Rex. And speaking of pet dinos, we stopped ever so briefly at Bedrock, a Flintstones-themed park, diner and souvenir place. It was as kitschy as it sounds and the lone store attendant was divine. She asked trivia questions about the characters and gave us 10% off, even when I didn't know that Fred only has three toes. Yes, three. See, another example of evolution at work!