Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Journey to Grand Canyon

I have gone back and forth in my mind about how much I would share with you about my travels and tribulations to get here- but I decided that it is all part of the journey and therefore relevant (and a bit funny). So here goes- what it took to get to Grand Canyon:

Departure from Raleigh, NC was a breeze despite the fact that TSA didn't allow me to bring some of my tools. I boarded the plane to Phoenix, we sat in the the plane at the gate for over two hours- not a problem, we eventually took off and that is truly all that mattered. The flight was seven hours including the two hour delay but I had great neighbors and the flight went well. Yey! I was in Phoenix! I jumped off the plane running, my next flight into Flagstaff-Canceled. After several cancellations into Flagstaff (they were under 4 feet of snow) the airlines decided not to travel into Flagstaff at all, they advised all passengers to get a hotel room and re-assigned flights for the following day. My re-assignment was for 8:30 pm- Yikes! In the meantime I met Gloria and Bob, a wonderful couple from Australia, we had great conversations and yummy dinner.

I woke up Saturday morning , rushed to the airport and got on the standby list for the am flights. And they actually called my name( I really wanted to kiss the flight attendant)- I got on the flight to Flagstaff, which was absolutely amazing I was seventh on the stand by list. As we waited for the plane to depart the pilot announced that this would be the last flight of the day- wow was I feeling lucky. The view from the plane was astonishing! We arrived in Flagstaff to find a landscape blanketed in white- Beautiful.

The last leg of my journey required that I get to the Amtrak station in downtown Flagstaff to catch a shuttle to Grand Canyon. I called Friendly Cab, and they were there within minutes. Myself and another fellow (Jordan) hopped in the cab and started off, through streets lined with 6 foot snow drifts. The cab driver said "Oh, that's not good" and then black smoke began to fill the cab of the car. This poor car was in bad shape, we had to open our doors, as we rolled down the street, to allow the black smoke to escape. We pulled into a gas station and filled the car with oil, then took off again. We made it about a block and the car died again. This happened four times, four different gas stations until finally we had to push the car to its final resting place (at least for that day). I new cab came to our rescue and we were off to the station. I dropped off my bags and found a fantastic restaurant called Macy's in downtown, the food was delicious and affordable.

The shuttle ride from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon was amazing, as the sun began to set it seemed to be below us, radiating out from the snow covered trees and rock formations. I finally arrived at "The Hole" in the last moments of light- it made me cry, it was so spectacular! That moment made all of my traveling tribulations obsolete.

I am honored to be here.

P.S. next post will have lots of pictures


Dale said...

I'm so glad you made it there. Is it not the most awesome place you've ever seen? I cannot imagine how beautiful it must be in snow. Mather Point is the first place I saw the canyon..... I cried. The beauty of it was almost unfathomable. Have fun and be safe. Looking forward to the next installment on the blog! love ya.

Jean Skipper said...

What an adventure! Thank you for sharing.