Newsflash, guys: The Grand Canyon is literally awesome. I came across this study that shows that experiencing nature can elicit feelings of awe. Man, I was feeling the awe, alright.
To be completely honest, our first few hours of the Grand Canyon were kind of “meh.” We spent some time walking around the rim, stopping at all the railed off photo-op stops (along with throngs of other tourists), not quite comprehending the magnitude of what we were looking at. The views were amazing, don’t get me wrong, but we couldn’t shake the crowds or get close enough to really feel like we were experiencing the Canyon. We didn’t have enough daylight to actually hike down into the Canyon, so we were kind of limited to what we could see our first day there.
Here’s the thing: I’m not one to ask for directions, so when Mark had the brilliant idea of going to the Grand Canyon’s visitor’s center and asking for some trail recommendations, I thought it sounded way lame. I was like, “Let’s just wander around and see what we see.” Boy am I glad he rarely listens to me. We ended up asking an employee working at the information center if there were any hikes he could recommend. The guy sort of looked around, as if the information he was about to give us was super confidential, pulled out a map and began drawing a route for us to follow. Shoshone Point, you guys. Trust us, its pure gold
Shoshone Point is actually just a campsite area that can be rented out, mostly for events with large groups of people, but it also happens to lead to the most incredible and secluded view of the canyon. If there is an event going on there the rest of the public is unfortunately not allowed, but when no one else is around it is the perfect spot to be alone with your awe. We walked all the way down to a point that jutted right into the Canyon. It was so quiet, we could hear the sound of the birds’ wings echoing off the canyon’s walls.
The next morning, still basking in the glow of finding this perfect spot, we decided to hike a trail down into the canyon. We each packed a lunch, filled our water bottles, and got to steppin’. The hike down was great! We ran into a pack of donkeys, made some squirrel friends, and stopped to high-five other hikers in solidarity. We were feelin’ pretty good. The climb back up, on the other hand, was another story. Climbing the steep and rocky canyon side is not for the faint of heart (or the slightly out of shape), let me tell you! But we powered through and made it to the top. Beers from the Grand Canyon Brewing Company were calling our names, after all.
^ A squirrel took this photo for us! Juuust kidding, it was a lady. Squirrels have no eye for lighting or composition. ^
^ Our awesome campsite. ^
These beers were well deserved after the hike we had. We made a fire, cooked up some brats, spent the entire night swatting at gnats the size of jellybeans, and fell asleep under the stars. Awe-some. Cheers!