Leaving Flagstaff Sunday morning following a pit stop at the local Starbucks we headed north toward the Grand Canyon. Forgoing the south rim, having been there before, I headed straight for the north rim. It was not some of my better work, I miscalculated badly After what seemed like innumerable hours passing dry, dreary terrain we hit HWY 89 southbound, opening up to some forested area, Darien didnt think the Canyon existed at all; "Are we just going to stumble into some giant hole in the ground?" No that's the meteor crater, further south I mused. But I was beginning to think she had a point. It had been nearly 4 hours and no sight of noteworthy scenery had been glimpsed. When finally we did reach the north rim it was literally like Darien described, glancing left I saw high walls punctuating a deep gully, opening up to extensive cavernous valleys. When we finally rolled into the lot. I paid the 30 dollar week pass at the automated machine. I was torn about whither to pay or not, no ranger was in sight and it was the same rate as a daily fare. I paid anyway, because I'm an honest, good citizen and I care about the maintenance, preservation and conservation of our National Parks. Yeah, that's what I convinced myself anyway. Heading off on foot, we hit the trail which expanded out to a long walkway with eye-opening canyon views on either side. It was definitely a trip of the senses, you couldn't help but goggle at the amazing terrain displayed all around you. It invoked peace of mind, as the high altitudes made one feel a reverent calm. At least that's how it hit me. Maybe the Grand Canyon hit you in different ways.
We headed on I-40 westbound toward Vegas. It was about a 4 hour drive and we were both exhausted from a long day as we rolled into sin city. The lights and huge billboard displays were magnificent, just like I remembered it. I was a poor wayfarin' stranger, not loaded with cash or prepared to indulge in the full Vegas expierance, and things were not much different this time around. I had to make due with what I had which as this point was not a lot: a beater of a car and no money. While locating the strip I took a wrong turn into the Bellagio and found myself circling the roundabout I felt like an idiot. My car had a white hood, with chrome tape and I was maneuvering around fashion glamoured celebrities and limousines. I felt like a mangy animal out its natural habitat and wished to remove myself from the scene as quickly as possible. I found parking soon after and we frequented some of the sights and sounds on the strip. The first attraction was a fountain that shot jets of water into the night in rhythm with a symphony, it was located in the heart of a pool of water outlying the Bellagio Hotel.
For once I didn't notice the couple kissing by the fountain or the staggering drunk ones processing their way through a 40, but I see a constellation and it reminds me of a story from my hometown. And that to me was enough. Away from the glamour of the big city lights and night life is where I find peace of mind. I was an admirer more of the natural elements than entertainment fabrications. It could have been the fact I was merely sightseeing, however I'd rather be traversing Europe, exploring the rich history of the Santa Maria del Fiore in Florance or snorkling in the Caribbean.In my perception: life and nature are similar concepts because nature is a microcosm of life; the study of how life acts and interacts within our circle of existence. When we take the time to examine the beauty of the world around us, we are able to see parallels within our own lives. It becomes a shrinking experience and we begin to think outside ourselves. All of nature moves in a spiral as do our personal lives. Not everyone responds to beauty in the same way; many are aware of it but don't allow it to light up the sentiment. Material possessions don't please the way the natural elements can. My curiosity about the earth transcends my curiosity for other things. Desiring to find natural beauty inherently lies within the core desires of our being. uninhibited, unequivocal untouched by the corrosion of the mind. and only subject to the whims and harmonies of the free floating elements of the species. Nature can present itself as soul stirring graffiti...I hope this euphony at the end tied it all together. But I regress; now, to the current circumstances of the trip--Outside of Vegas I found the nearest semblance of real civilization 3 hours away. I was too sleep-deprived and tired to risk driving further. I had only gotten a few hours sleep the last couple days. I was running off fumes. I pulled over at some small shell station I think it was a town? Indian springs I believe it was called and we passed out for the night. The day had been quite eventful and the last trek of our journey was soon to be underway...
Next Blog Entry: (The last Trek of my Adventure)
First Entry: (The first Leg of my Journey)
Second Entry: (Oklahoma Bound)
Third Entry (Amarillo to the Grand Canyon)