Raw Arizona

Above is Meteor Crater. The speed upon impact is said to have been moving at 8 miles per second, striking the Arizona soil with the force of a 10 megaton nuclear weapon, larger than the combined attack yields on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined


The Grand Canyon

I was coming down with a cold. I couldn’t quite tell if it was the cold or the rigors of the drive to Canyon de Chelly, but the snotty, achy symptoms were all the same. Luckily I carried a few Alka-Seltzer tablets in my pack and washed them down with some eggs and a day (or two) old biscuit. Nothing was going to deter me from my schedule. After a quick shower, I grabbed my things and set off for the Grand Canyon.

The previous day’s trek took me northeast of Flagstaff. The Grand Canyon is about 1.5 hours drive northwest of where I was staying. Unlike the comparatively desert environment of the lands up through the Navajo Nation, the ride up through the Coconino Forest, with its large evergreen pines and various other conifers, was greener. When I arrived at the Tusuyan gate entryway for the Grand Canyon, I was greeted by a kind, yet bureaucratic park ranger. I took out my scribble napkin and pointed to a number of the outlooks, calling them out as I went to confirm I was at the “correct” Grand Canyon. (The medicine had to be working). What I meant to ask in the moment was whether or not I had made it to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, as the North Rim is closed during winter. The ranger nodded with the shadow of a grin and confirmed matter-of-factly that I had made it to the “correct” Grand Canyon. He then requested $30, something that I hadn’t been prepped about in my investigation into the day’s trip. Luckily, I had a bit of extra cash on me for a quick transaction and much like Meteor Crater, my receipt guaranteed me repeat access to the park for 2 weeks. A good deal I thought to be able to see an American treasure.