Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ain't it Grand?

Yo Dawg, I heard you like nature and the earth and stuff, so I pimped your earth with a giant canyon, so you could be totally awed when you are looking at nature.

Leaving Tucson is always bittersweet.

In the morning, my friends' seven-year-old daughter woke up very early. She told me her beloved stuffed animal had gotten out of bed during the night, and she couldn't find him anywhere. So she and I searched her room until we found where he was hiding. After, she and I and the beloved stuffed animal sat down at the dining room table and had breakfast together. We talked for a while about school and the other kids who go there and how when she grows up she's going to be a dancing fighter. I think she'll probably be an artist.

At some point, the kid looked at me, and she said: Sarah, you're happy when you're in Tucson. Are you going to move here next time you come to visit?

I am happy in Tucson, but I am also happy in Oakland. Sometimes I wish transporter beams had been invented already, so I could flash from here to there in an instant; I could walk through one front door and back out another, and I wouldn't always feel so torn in space in time.

But transporter beams have not yet been invented, or if they have, they exist only in some secret military base out there in America or maybe at Google Labs, but I digress. M and I arrived by Jeep, and that was how we left, taking the long road North to see one of the wonders of the natural world.

We left the Sonoran desert and traveled North up through Phoenix (snooze) and through the Verde Valley (Yeah!) where I was fortunate enough to stay for a week last summer with my fellow Desert Rat Writers. We drove slightly East of Sedona and Slide Rock, where the white rocks give way to red, and hit Flagstaff. Then up, up, up, up we went maybe to the top of the world, not really, just up high enough, through scraggy, brushy, desolate land, until we reached Grand Canyon National Park.

After days in the car and dirty cities, I was all ready to get up in nature's business and have a cuddle party with it. I was going to smell the rarified air of nature and sleep under its stars to the sounds of crickets and coyotes.

NATURE in its natural state.

Did you know that there is a fancy store right at the edge of the Grand Canyon where you can get all sorts of beers and fine wines and artisan cheeses and health foods? There's a post office, and city folk restaurants and PLENTY OF PARKING! And everyone is happy and clean like they've just come out of central casting from a Farmers Market. Camping at the Grand Canyon was not exactly roughing it, but I did see some deer and a whole lot of very smart, cunning looking ravens. They were plotting something, I'm sure.

After a long day, and a giant gourmet salad consumed by the light of a long burning fire log, I built a nest inside the Jeep and passed out for a few hours, until the sound of sirens from a fire truck or police car or something woke me up. It's cool. It kind of reminded me of home.

M and I ate some artisan bread and fancified peanut butter, took showers and hopped a shuttle bus to the edge of the canyon. By then, I just felt disillusioned with this whole nature business. And then, we saw it. And, you know what? It was pretty damn awesome!

Let's rename this sh*t The F*cking Amazeballs Giant Supergrand USA USA USA  Canyon!

I was impressed!

Everyone around us was impressed. I was so happy with nature at that moment that I offered to do something nice and took a picture of a couple with their baby in a stroller with the canyon as a backdrop. As I looked through the lens of the camera, I realized, their "baby" was actually a dog in a stroller. We all felt shame.

But who cares? I was at the GRAND CANYON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Live, in color, and all yours: A Giant Canyon!
How did the Grand Canyon get here?

Well, it was amazing to hear my fellow Americans speculate (even though there were placards everywhere, a visitor center, brochures, a museum within yards with a 3D IMAX movie that explained everything, and something called the internet). One woman said: Wow, a meteorite created all this! and her husband answered: No, it was the Noah Flood. The flood made this big rift and the only thing left was the ark. 


I'm pretty sure it was nature, dudes: water and wind. That is pretty impressive. Nature, I am all up in your business after this.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is my favorite Travels With Jonah post yet. I laughed, I cried, okay mostly I just laughed.

    I saw the The F*cking Amazeballs Giant Supergrand USA USA USA Canyon! with my family years ago, and it was indeed amazeballs.

    At the time, they were talking about adding a sort of see-through viewing balcony by the museum where you could walk out over the canyon and look down through the balcony floor to the canyon. As someone who suffers from vertigo, the idea intrigued and terrified me. I'm getting sweaty palms just thinking about it.

    Any sign of it?

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