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The author’s trip to the Grand Canyon

I can’t claim I have traveled a lot. I have done it in America and little in Europe. My goal is to travel a lot more in the future. Travel fever has seized me and now I am burning with desire to explore the world and myself. However, I don’t want to travel in the conventional way – strictly following guidebooks, must see attractions, visit famous places where everyone stops in the middle of the street to unfold a map and check where the next sight on the list is. Often this type of hunt is in vain.

Cameras in different sizes hanging from the neck, cloths yelling “I am a tourist” and the faithful phrasebook helpful on occasions. I hate to admit it, but there are places in the world I will be recognized as a tourist only because of a simple reason – my race.

How I got there

My trip was set for Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon and the south coast of California. This was my first big travel in the United States, although I live here for six years now.

After spending 2 days in Las Vegas I hired a car and head to the canyon. The travel takes approximately four and a half hours and the road passes desert areas, small towns and serene rocky peaks.

Close to Las Vegas the road passes Hoover Dam – one of the most incredible constructions made by man. The road literally follows over the dam wall and is very narrow. If you dare to go to the edge, look down and … you are lost. Your gaze follows the concrete underneath but your brain just cannot understand how is such a construction even possible .

After taking photos, marveling the immensity of the construction and spending little time on my own, I continued towards my main goal. The road is monotonous, the scenery doesn’t change much, but inside the car you feel anticipation, excitement and eagerness. After a few hours I was getting close. There is a village at the bottom of the Canyon. The road winds uphill, but it is not like a mountain road – this one goes upwards and at the same time you can see the horizon. There aren’t many trees, only bushes.

I have booked a room in one of the lodges at the top of the canyon. I checked in very fast and go outside, because it is already afternoon. I bought a map of the different trails and we head to the canyon. I haven’t seen it yet. Although I am there, the canyon is not visible. I pass under small trees. In the distance I can see a bare meadow. I am almost running. The trees are behind me, and ahead of me there is emptiness. I continue and I reach the edge. There is no railing.

What I see in front of me is something which my mind cannot grasp. I am amazement and flabbergasted. I have seen photos, but what is in front of me is so vast and enormous. For the first time I feel as little as a grain of sand.

I have been to the ocean and in the sea. I am familiar with the feeling of limitless horizons. However, the feeling which overtook me here is different. I look down and my eyes can’t find the end. I look ahead and my eyes sail in the unlimited space. Rocks in red, white and brown show different eras; here and there bushes and small trees are thinly scattered; the rest is silence, complete absence of sound.

Noisy tourists spoil my experience with endless talks, children spin around, and camera clicks never become silent. Nevertheless, the canyon offers plenty of spots for privacy and reflection, so it is not difficult to isolate and become a part of what nature offers.

The edge of the canyon was very steep and easy to slip and I decided to follow the marked trail which is supposed to lead me to an outlook where you can see the most beautiful sunset. I was not the only one who was there for the sunset. The outlook, which is similar to a niche on the edge was crowded. The throng is thrilled with anticipation. The view is majestic. I want it to continue forever. I haven’t seen anything more beautiful. I tremble with cold, excitement and joy.

It gets dark very fast at the canyon. The night is even more magical. The next day I head to sunny California. The Canyon stays forever in my heart. Even a few years afterwards it is still in front of me. In me. And the feeling hasn’t disappeared. As though I am still there. And I feel the vast expansions. And the beauty. And I can’t leave. I will return…

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