Isn’t It Grand?

Thousands of visitors flock to the Grand Canyon each year in search of the Great American Adventure

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Dmitry Petrakov /

The South Rim extends farther than the eye can see; its accessibility, amenities and stop-and-star views attract countless visitors.


The air is brisk and pure — the cleanest my lungs have ever taken in. I steady my breathing, which is labored from the trek that got me to my vista. Inhale, exhale, in through the nose, out through the mouth. I’m calm — maybe the calmest I’ve ever been — as I look down from my elevation of 7,250 feet. One slip of my foot and I could fall; but there is an eagle gliding through the wind below me. Oddly enough, the sight brings me comfort. 

I could have stood on Yaki Point much longer, my thoughts undisturbed in the solace of that place, but my sister taps me on the shoulder and reminds me that we have to be back on the tour bus in 10 minutes. We begin our descent, and when we reach the place where the slightly-less-adventurous hikers are waiting, I see the look on my mom’s face and know immediately what’s coming. 

“You two scare me,” she says. “I saw you out there.”

She knows it’s a pointless battle. She knows the women she has raised. As we amble back to the bus, my grandmother pulls me close and says, “If I could hike that, I would have done it, too.” 

Alexey Stiop /

Sedona is known for its rusted red rocks and massive structures including Cathedral Rock, which reaches for the heavens. 


Grandmother and the Grand Canyon

We all have a bucket list. Maybe you haven’t written yours down or recited it aloud, but you have ambitions you want to achieve and adventures you want to experience before you die. For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has wanted to see the Grand Canyon. She is the product of a generation who was taught that to view the canyon is to have embarked on the Great American Adventure. 

Don’t get me wrong, I was eager to see the Grand Canyon when my mom, grandma, sister and I began to plan our trip. It seemed beautiful from the National Geographic programs I had seen. But honestly, I just love to travel: You can book me a plane ticket to anywhere, and I will go. 

I simply didn’t realize that the Grand Canyon could move me so deeply.

It all began with three generations on two different flights to one destination... 

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