Part 11: Reflections on an Epic Adventure
“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
This is my final post probably for sometime, or at least until I come across something new to write about. After all, I said I wasn’t going to blog about my river trip – and here we are! I have re-immersed myself back into reality, as of the first of the month, after a pretty unbeatable and adventurous summer traveling around the US and through the Grand Canyon. I have accomplished my funemployment goals; I have checked off a multitude of items from my ever-growing bucket list. I pushed and was pushed beyond my comfort zone. And I learned a lot about myself along the way as a result – always a great thing. I feel fortunate to have a renewed sense of adventure and perspective after nearly four months of traveling, and I have been grounded and re-centered by the power of the Grand Canyon. It really doesn’t get much better.
Back to the river.
Reflection is an important aspect of travel, and the key to it is being present and in the moment. When you can recall your adventures, your accomplishments, your goals, your missed opportunities, your planned and unplanned destinations, and the people you met along the way you can begin to understand the deep rooted meaning of your journey. Our river trip down the Colorado River was perfectly epic. Our surroundings were simply incredible. Our river guides were passionate and present. The river was powerful and peaceful. The canyon was unlike any other. We were immersed in a truly a remarkable place. I know a lot of people say that in passing about the Grand Canyon, but I mean that from the inner workings of my chubby, Southern, bacon-loving soul.
I’ll say it again; the Grand Canyon is a truly remarkable place. It centers you. It humbles you. It transforms you. It pushes you. It encourages you. It relaxes you. It challenges you. It does all of these things and more, and not always in an obvious or earth-shatteringly visible way. By that, I mean that I very well might be the only person that recognizes the profound impact that the Grand Canyon and Colorado River had on me. And that’s ok. You see, that’s the power of the Grand Canyon. In a way, it knows you better than you know yourself as it nestles quietly into your soul and transforms you in the only way the Grand Canyon knows how – with immeasurable power, humility, and grace.
We should all embrace the ability (privilege) to slow down, disconnect, and immerse ourselves deeply into a present and simplified way of life. I embrace that every time I get on a river trip and I feel as though I am able to come away with a fresh perspective. I came away from this 14-day adventure feeling more connected to the river than I have on past trips. And I have the Grand Canyon to thank for that. This place is worth protecting.
Life on the river is humbling, adventurous, and it pushes you far from the boundaries of your comfort zone. It is the best kind of high. My river addiction continues…and there is no cure or intervention that will curb it. And for that, I am most grateful.
Go and discover…
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou