Memoir: Colorado Plateau and Grand Canyon Essay

Submitted By samdelmerico
Words: 1210
Pages: 5

The Grand Canyon It took 4 hours in the plane to get there. The coolest part about flying is watching the plane lift off from the ground: the feeling of weightlessness that is associated with it. As we gained altitude, one could watch the ground slowly separate into tracts, however the distance from you and the ground is growing tremendously. The roar of the engine behind us is emanant throughout the plane, and I could hear the “whoom, whoom” of the turbines. Eventually the glamour of takeoff drifted as the plane settled into a constant pace. Disregarding a few pockets of turbulence, the trip in the air landed uneventfully in Phoenix, Arizona. Collecting our bags, we all head into the crowd for the exit. Being my first trip west of Tennessee, the road to Flagstaff was incredible. Looking out the window was a plethora of new sights: rock formations of sandstone, tree-less expanses, high plateaus rolling into low valleys and back again. The most shocking, by far to me, was the distance at which one could see clearly. The land rolled on and on forever, and I could see to horizon in any direction. This, contrasting with Eastern coastal lands, was a great experience. These rolling lands serve as home for extensive amounts of wildlife that I didn't often get a chance to see. Gray, dry grasses covered the ground amidst patches and clearings of gray-black dirt which were next to non-existent in Georgia, proprietor of its representative red-clay. From some vantage points, rolling dunes of sand lay dormant in the distance along this northern road. These, accompanied by the rock formations of sandstone, made a natural painting vivid as one in a gallery. Reminiscent of Space Jam, the desert masterpiece was a plethora of color and reflection from the sun. Visible hues of red, orange, and purple exploded across the landscape and rasterize a natural background with an emotion inciting image. It was points such as these that made me wish I could drive these roads for a long time. The altitude in these parts was high, much higher than what I was used to in Georgia. This caused some ear popping as we climbed and descended the endless plateaus and hills of the area. Eventually, the ear popping came to an end for a few days as we climbed the last ascension before Flagstaff. The road to the Grand Canyon was much like the one leading to Flagstaff: rolling, expansive, endless land to each horizon, lifeless-looking, thriving, gray, dry grasses, patches of inhabited dirt. On this trip we took a slight detour. My Dad pulled the car over to the side of the road, and he got out. On my side, I got out of the car and took the keys that my Dad was handing me. I hopped in the car and did my routine checks. My 14 year-old self was ecstatic at the chance of an opportunity I'd been waiting for since the trip began. The highway had been clear for the last few miles, a fact that probably influenced my lawfully-cautious Dad to let my drive. The emptiness of the road was an eerie sight when contrasted with a bustling, traffic-filled city that I've grown up in. With finesse, I pulled out back onto the deserted highway, and I checked my mirrors, of course. Once out on the road, however, my Dad said “Good son, now pull her back off the road.” Dismayed, I obeyed and started around a natural circuit in dirt. “Alright Dad, I'm good enough to have my license now. Or at least be out on the street. What do you think?” His scoffing reply was effective and efficient. After a while had passed with me behind the wheel, my Dad had me practice backing up, then he took back the keys and moved me to the backseat. We continued on our journey to see the chasm to the center of the earth. There was a great wind that kept our car on a hop as we traveled. Constantly our car would rock to the rhythm of the wind, and I could hear the “swishing” of the air as it bellowed past our vehicle to rustle the forsaken ground around us. A few times it felt as though the wind would blow our