First solo trip! - Part 2
It’s finally March and T-1 day until I leave for my big trip! I’m excited and nervous at the same time, and could hardly contain myself while at work. One thing to note during this day, was that I had not even packed yet. Being the procrastinator that I am, I hurry home after work and throw all of my laundry, fresh from the dryer, into my bag and take count of everything to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Once made sure I had all of my equipment and essentials, I rested up with the little time that I had before heading to the airport.
It’s 3:30 AM and barely slept at all, but I did not feel tired what so ever. After packing everything, I started the first leg of my journey right from my house to the Cincinnati airport. The 2 hour drive got me ready for all the long drives that I would complete throughout the course of the trip. Once I arrive, I park in long-term parking, go through airport security, and patiently wait for the gate to announce boarding. Having being to pick out my seats beforehand, I was able to stretch out my legs for the entire flight and relax. I land in Vegas (if you’re traveling Utah or any other outlying states, then it’s the cheapest place to fly to), pick up my bag, and go to the shuttle to pick up my car. Once that was done, I drove to the nearest grocery store to load up on all the supplies that I needed. I then headed out for the long drive to the first stop on my trip, the majestic Grand Canyon National Park.
Right as I start leaving the city, the transformation of the landscape starts to occur. The vicinity of Vegas happens to be mostly desert with some mountains. A few miles onto the 515 and the emergence of red rock comes about. I pull off to a scenic rest stop in Clark County to enjoy the scenery. The view consists of several mountainous ranges and a giant pond. I take a few photos and continued with the rest of the journey. Upon entering Arizona, I was greeted with the barren landscape preceding the area of the park itself. It was quite peaceful to be driving alone in the desert, with only the thoughts in my head as well as the select playlist I made prior. Nearing the park, I passed through Kaibab National Forest. Having lived in Ohio my whole life, being able to see miles and miles of lush conifers was a breathtaking sight to see. The road leading into the park had the same views, and stopped along the road to take pictures of some elk that happened to be there. Being able to see these beautiful animals without any fences, glass walls, or barriers at all made it very surreal and genuine. It made me appreciate how lucky we are to be living alongside these beings.
Once I got back in my car and drove for another couple miles, is when my jaw hit the floor. Just as the forest line stopped, the landscape completely transformed, and there it was: the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. I slowed until I could find a good place to park, and walked towards one of the viewpoints. I stepped near the ledge where there wasn’t any railing. Woah. All the pictures I have ever seen never did it any justice what so ever. I almost couldn’t believe that it was real. It legitimately looked like an artist had put up a gigantic mural up in the distance. I popped my AirPods in, sat on a flat rock, and took in all the natural beauty that it had to offer me.