On our last night in the canyon before heading back to solid cell service and reality via Phoenix, we decided to postpone dinner to watch the lingering sunset at Mather Point. Having spent four days in the bottom of the canyon away from the crowds, we didn’t mind enjoying the sunset with throngs of other tourists at Mather Point — the first viewpoint you can stop at from the South Rim entrance of the national park. I came to the Grand Canyon as someone who wasn’t automatically moved by this desert landscape. My one previous visit had been a quick, wave-at-the-canyon kind of trip. So this time I wanted to understand what all the fuss was about.
Archives for December 2014
“When a great adventure is offered, you don’t refuse it.” ~ Amelia Earhart
When a good friend suggested I join her on a backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon on our shared birthday, I jumped at the chance. It was just what I was looking for — a refreshingly a new type of adventure.
This was my first backpacking trip, sleeping in tents and going without showers for four days. Right from the get-go, Teri told me the trip would involve carrying 30-35 lb packs on the 10 mile hike from the trailhead down to the campground and back up the canyon walls, an elevation of more than 2000 feet. Then she gushed about how excited she was to see Havasu Falls and how she’d been wanting to take this trip for 20 years. I knew exactly nothing about Havasupai and Havasu Falls.
Spending Thanksgiving in San Francisco this year meant less time devoted to travel and much more downtime. Last weekend that led to catch-up phone calls with family across the country and lots time for reflection, almost an early year-end review.
Early in the year, I started keeping track of what I was grateful for using an app called Lift. I really enjoyed the act of stopping for a moment (often on the bus) to think about what I was grateful for on that day, in that exact moment. I didn’t over think it either. It was more of a stream of consciousness exercise.
Somehow, I’ve kept up the habit for most of the year with intermittent streaks of more than 30 days in a row. (Right now, I’m on day 34 of a new streak!) It hadn’t occurred to me when I started doing this how much fun it would be to look back on the year through this lens.