A grand adventure
by Dale Burgos
Last month, I shared the Burgos Bunch’s exploits south of the border. To recap, we spent two weeks road tripping and chillin’ by the pool on a journey from BC to the sunny state of Arizona. We all got tans and had our fair share of sore butts and tired backs during the approximately 6,000 kilometres of driving. On our journey we travelled through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Arizona.
With the invention of in-car DVD and mobile devices, we no longer play the license plate game. However, it was always fun to see a fellow Canadian on the road. I felt like we had an instant connection. I saw a number of BC and Alberta drivers on the road, since that was the main route to take. But I found great amusement when I saw someone from Manitoba. The very distinct green blobs, ok trees, that flank the water in between is unmistakable. I tend to want to wave, but that would just be weird, right? Even to this day, driving around BC, when I see a Manitoban, my first instinct is to roll down my window at the stoplight and ask where they lived. Maples? North End? East Kildonan? Maybe that can be my new road trip game!
On any given road trip, part of the fun is the anticipation of getting to your destination. It’s always fun to stop along the way. It was especially neat to see almost all seasons within a few days. We had spring rain, snow in the mountains and sunny dry conditions. We never knew what to expect around the bend.
One thing is certain, the change in weather wreaked havoc on my sinuses. I’m used to the “Wet” Coast. Throw me into the dessert and I couldn’t moisturize enough! Drinking water, Vaseline on my lips and lotion all over – I now see why lizards are so scaly.
We had a good time once we made it, but then I couldn’t help thinking that the drive home was going to be boring. I just wanted to get home! That’s when Izzy and I decided we should take a different route and make a couple epic stops on the way.
Not far outside of Phoenix is a place called Sedona. I’ve heard from many people that we must visit. We experienced a bit of traffic heading into the city, but there was a lot to see.
According to Wikipedia: “Sedona’s main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The red rocks form a popular backdrop for many activities, ranging from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails.”
We made a couple stops in Sedona and appreciated the landscape that was billions of years in the making. We didn’t spend too much time looking around. I’m thinking Izzy and I will visit and explore this place one day, when we have more time. It was also because I wanted to get to the next leg of our trip – The Grand Canyon.
For a long time I’ve been wanting to witness first-hand one of the great wonders of the world. We’ve visited Arizona and Nevada many times, and the canyon would have been only a number of hours away by car, but alas, it has never come to fruition. This time, we made sure to take the detour.
We visited one of the more popular spots on the south rim of the canyon. Entering the park took a few minutes, and parking was a breeze. But nothing could have prepared me for what we were about to see.
As we walked up the path, Izzy turns the camera on and asks me where we were. I gleefully shared with childlike enthusiasm that we were at the Grand Canyon. We approached the opening and there it was. I almost started crying. It was magnificent!
Some may ask, “What’s the big deal with a massive gaping hole in the ground?” That is a legitimate question. However, when you realize that it took billions of years to create, it is truly a sight to see.
Let me put this into perspective: in some parts the canyon is over a mile deep. That works out to three Empire States Buildings standing on top of each other! Or thousands of Shaquille O’Neals!
There were many places to stop and many more places to get a very close look. There were no chain link fences stopping onlookers, so one must be very careful, especially with curious little ones. I’m happy to report that the Burgos Bunch enjoyed the visit and nobody fell off the cliff.
The canyon was a fitting end to a fun-filled trip. I can’t wait for the next adventure.
Dale manages the communications department for a school district in BC.