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Happy New Year, Water Vallians! Whew. Thank goodness.
I had a work trip that had us driving across the entire country and back in under seven days so I spent my New Year’s Day at the Grand Canyon. Yeah! The big one out in Arizona with the cute burros! In my mind, we’d stop at the Grand Canyon on New Year’s Day, stand on the precipice to look out over the vast distance in breathless wonder, contemplate the meaning of life, let the timeless western winds whip through our hair while a bald eagle soared above; feeling small and lucky to be alive on this earth on that first day of a brand new year.
Well, the only thing that panned out in that expectation was that we did stand on a precipice…behind a fence because everything was super slippery due to being covered in ice. So I guess I did a little contemplating on the meaning of life, as well. I contemplated that I mean to keep mine and was not going to stand on a lone, ice-covered rock 30,000 feet out in the middle of the air like the line of other fools.
Speaking of other fools, the Grand Canyon was crowded! I swear I came closer to getting Covid at the Grand Canyon than I have in all of my 2020 trips to Sprint Mart put together. It was like Disney Land with dogs. The dog to human ration was about even.
Why are so many people taking their dogs to the Grand Canyon? Does a dog really care that it saw the Grand Canyon? My dog is a little Weiner dog, so I imagine most everything looks like the Grand Canyon to him and he would not be impressed. The Pocket Park is like his Great Plains. Maybe their dogs are smarter than mine (probably) but I don’t trust my dog not to just jump on in. But all in all, the Grand Canyon was incredible and my only true disappointment was that I saw no burros.
I haven’t left Yalobusha/Lafayette counties since early March, so a trip out west was more intense than it would have been otherwise. From the full day of rolling Flint Hills in Kansas to driving through a white-out ground blizzard in Wyoming, to traversing mountainous interstate in northern Utah white blinded by the western sun, to crossing an 80 mile desert made of actual salt, I was realizing that my near year of staying cooped up in Yalobusha had turned me into a frightened agrophobe.
The West is dangerous! There were many signs warning of falling rocks and several signs warning of “Strong Wind Gusts for the next 25 miles” or “No Gas Station for next 92 miles.” What kind of world doesn’t have a gas station for 92 miles? The moon?! There were signs warning of giant ram crossings, giant elk crossings, giant horse crossings, etc. I saw a dead horse in the desert! Just laying there. Dead. We also accidentally drove over the Hoover Dam! There were several times where I thought I might die and longed for the safety of the woodlands with our cottonmouths, swarming fire ants and tornadoes.
In truth, it was the most beautiful trip I’ve ever been on in my life. But pulling straight into the PigSaver parking lot to buy a chicken as soon as we got back in town was nice too.