Kanab to Cedar City
August 12, 2016
Miles Driven: 251
Parks Visited: 2
Some days, you just have to slow down a bit. Now, I don’t mean to say that I didn’t visit two sites today. In fact, I did and I am quite tired. Rather, I mean that when you visit a park sometimes you should just pick a spot or two and watch the world around you. Listen to the sounds. Enjoy being. Stop rushing. There is no rule that says, if you go to a wondrous park, you’ve got to hit every single pullout, scenic spot, and constructed hike. You are not going to miss anything more than you would have missed hurrying around from view to view, camera in hand. Do you really want to have a hundred of the same photos that everyone else has? Instead, see what happens if you relax. I have frequently found that my best experiences in our precious national lands have come when I do the unexpected.
This is how I spent the majority of my day at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I definitely made the right choice of sites. While listening to the sparse tourists around me, I heard Zion was a mess with the highway closed. Let me just say that if you’ve never been to the North Rim, you should definitely consider it. Having been to the South Rim twice, I can testify that the North is a lot less congested and equally as nice. For the almost five hours I was there, I decided to just hang out at the Grand Canyon Lodge, a famous structure designed by Underwood, the architect of many of our great park lodges. In the time I was there, I intentionally took fewer photos than anywhere else, and I even worked on prepping a Pathfinder game. I ate lunch in the lodge dining room. I sat on the terrace. I almost fell asleep with a full belly on the comfortable sofas in the canyon overlook room.
Then to my surprise, there was a Native American cultural day, held only a couple times a year. While I was drowsily sitting on the sofa, a Navajo came in and played flute, told stories, and some funny jokes. They were having a hoop dancer later and a drummer. I regret not staying, tired as I would have been. When I went outside to leave, a craft fair had sprung up – I spoke to one gentleman about basket weaving and watched another tell his story about his new tradition of glass-blowing.
None of this would I have seen had I rushed about driving or hiking to every scenic spot in the North Rim. I’m telling you, reject the imperative to see-it-all and your life will be richer for it. They have rocking chairs on the porches of the cabins for a reason.
Why did I leave? Well, I really wanted to get to Pipe Spring. Lucky I left when I did because I arrived an hour before it closed. Oddly enough, just in time for a ranger-led tour. I had the option of the movie or the tour; I took the tour. This is a corollary to my above philosophy: If you have the chance to interact with people, take it. We spend enough time unengaged, typing on devices (like I am now). You can always watch a video; it doesn’t change. But you won’t have a chance to talk to a ranger very often. Thank you, Ranger Rob for the personal tour. I was the only one on it. Good luck at Sequoia too! He’s on his way there next month. See, you really never know what you’ll learn from interacting with those around you, but one thing is for sure – your life will be richer for it.
Until tomorrow from Bishop…
Board Location: Arizona
Happiness: Agreeable (6)
Energy: Perky (4)
The way we are spending money?! I hope we've enough to make it home. Helen and Harvey complained too much, so I decided to detour today to the Grand Canyon after we visited Pipe Spring. After all that we'd seen, I wanted something big and something that had a lodge. Of course, we tried to pick up two more souvenirs today, but there was just no room! Now, provided that we don't hit any unforeseeable snags, we should make it home on budget. What do you suppose the odds are of that?