Ready for day 2? 😉
Day 2 || Williams, AZ ➵ Grand Canyon, AZ ➵ Flagstaff, AZ
Today I planned to see both the Grand Canyon and Sedona with some time in Flagstaff in between. Sweet barista Tori from the previous evening even helped me plan a tentative itinerary to do it all before sunset. So, that was the plan. I left the B&B at 7 AM and made good time driving to the Grand Canyon. Once I opened my car door, I closed the door straight away. It was absolutely FREEZING. I was a bit frantic and disoriented at how cold it was. Typical Californian? What do I neeed: a pair of wool socks, my warm gloves, bag of scarves, and comfy walking shoes. I rummaged through my car for my survival gear as if my life depended on it. Really, it did. Let’s just say my somewhat neatly packed car has now became total chaos. Good luck Amy on finding anything else.
Alright all my survival gear is on. I might look a little crazy mismatched, but who’s thinking about outfits right now seriously. Agh it’s still cold!! I decided to suck it up and get going. Every minute counted considering the tight schedule I put myself on.
Bonnie, the amazing map creator, suggested I take the shuttle to see the viewpoints since I didn’t have the whole day to do hikes – and that I did. Also a helpful tip from Bonnie’s coworker Tom: “Keep your head down while you walk towards the viewpoint.. then slowly look up.”
Of course I tried my best to do so, but the walkway to the first viewpoint was a bit rocky and I couldn’t help but cheat a little. Even with a little cheating, I still felt the sensory overload; it was more difficult than I imagined. I’ve never seen anything like it!
Some of the trails below.
Major John Wesley Powell for being the first explorer of the Grand Canyon who descended the river with his party in row boats traversing the gorge beneath this point August 17, 1869 and again September 1, 1872.
Me at the GRAND CANYON! Traveling solo means I learned to ask people to take photos for me. It’s a new thing for me. Sometimes I get embarrassed to ask people to take a photo for me especially when I’m by myself and when I request to frame it a certain way. It doesn’t always work, but a picture is better than none right? Even if my phone quality isn’t the best. Gotta seize the opportunity while it’s there because people aren’t always around to take the shot!
You might be surprised, but I was kicking myself for having trouble relaxing/enjoying the moment/soaking in the scenery at all the previous stops. I’m not quite sure why, but I had a hard time relaxing with my body fighting hard against the cold. I felt pressured to catch the shuttle every 15 minutes. With my time constraint, I knew I couldn’t make all the stops. I couldn’t afford to miss a bus and spend 30+ minutes at each stop, which did happen. At some points I thought my glasses weren’t clear enough; I would squeeze my eyes shut and open them to see if it changed anything. And why didn’t I take my binoculars out of my car? Wow, that was a very real downward spiral of beating myself up. Be nice to yourself, Amy. Call me crazy, but I was fighting that hard to stay on schedule.. at the GRAND CANYON.
Funny. I plan events and weddings, do a great job troubleshooting and reorganizing the sequence of events, yet with my personal life it sometimes seems like the hardest thing to do. I realize we may put more effort in our skills and talents in the workplace perhaps because it’s WORK, and we have someone to report to or a business to uphold. However, when it comes to our personal lives, we haven’t exercised these same skills and talents as diligently. I believe that managing my own life, stewarding the resources I have, and investing in relationships takes precedence before work and a paycheck. It’s time to put that belief into action.
Truth is.. I could afford more time. I could extend my trip one day, and I’ll still reach my destination a few days before Thanksgiving – which was my plan anyway.
My sister recommended I hurry and get to Michigan before it gets snowy and harder to drive. If I chose to delay one day, and it snowed – no big deal. That would be on me and still probably worth it. What was keeping me from extending my trip? The snow? The money I would spend each day?
Being told what to do all my life and expected to listen and obey has made it difficult for me to make decisions. These decisions are really not rocket science. What I learned through all of this is that I take ownership of my own decisions and their consequences, no matter how good or bad the outcome. I learned to give Amy a voice and honor it: what does she desire? What excursion does she want to do? Would she rather spend more time at the Grand Canyon and sacrifice time elsewhere? Wasn’t going on a solo adventure with Jesus what made her so excited in the first place? She wanted to learn Amy and do Amy without all the unnecessary voices and no one to report to.
I spy: the Colorado River!
It was at Mather Point that everything shifted for me. Mather Point is walkable from the parking lot, which means zero pressure to catch the shuttle. I could spend as much or as little time as I wanted to immerse myself into my surroundings. On my walk towards the viewpoint, I decided to visit Sedona in the morning. Now my time was freed up to enjoy the rest of Grand Canyon, check into my hostel, and explore Flagstaff before sundown.
Alas – the colors, the textures, the crevices, the shadows, the pure MAJESTY of the Grand Canyon. To stand in the presence of such beauty is impossible to describe in words and to snap in photographs. I almost felt unworthy to be there; I felt floored and privileged to witness such a sight. I didn’t know how to react. My eyes tried to grasp the canyon in its entirety then outlined segment by segment trying to comprehend this masterpiece before me. There’s good reason the Grand Canyon was deemed one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
– Romans 1:20 (NKJV)
Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!
– Psalm 148: 7-10 (ESV)
I dropped by the Visitor Center and restroom before heading out of the Grand Canyon. How lucky I was to meet this lovely Navajo lady here. I was drawn to the Pendleton blanket she displayed her jewelry on, and the rest of history. She had such joy that drew me to her and I soon discovered she was a Christian. Her husband is a pastor and they are raising funds to build a church in Flagstaff, AZ! I love how God works in bringing his people together to love and encourage one another. If you are reading this, please be praying for her and the funds to build the church. It’s not easy being a Christian on the reservation. There have been people operating in witchcraft against her and even burned a huge hole in her Pendleton blanket. 🙁
Some jewelry her granddaughter made. ♥
I looked up this trading post the night prior and decided I had no time to go.. until today! Since I postponed Sedona to tomorrow I could relax. Next thing you know, I’m walking out with three pairs of Minnetonka’s! I’ve always wanted them and they were on sale. BINGO. It was meant to be. Make sure you say hi to CODY the store owner for me if you go! They got some amazing inventory there.
Made it to Flagstaff, AZ before sundown!
Here’s the hostel I stayed at. I love that the bathrooms were private for one person at a time and not dorm style. 🙂
After wearing my flats for some time in the cold, boots are starting to look like a good idea.
After losing one glove at the Grand Canyon, shopping around for another pair, missplacing my thermos and never finding it again (ugh), and meeting some cool people at the hostel (yay), I finally settled down at cute at Steep Leaf Lounge with a pumpkin tea latte (super yay) to research my next day’s itinerary and place to sleep.
Thanks for joining me today! I hope you enjoyed going through my day with me. Sometimes people may think roadtrips and adventures are all fun and excitement, but truly it could be very trying and difficult, but all around good learning experience. 🙂
Stay tuned for Day 3 || Flagstaff, AZ ➵ Sedona, AZ ➵ Holbrook, AZ ➵ Albuquerque, NM.