It’s hard to believe that there’s something “grand” riding north along Route 180. It was relatively flat and not much to see, but we knew very well what laid ahead—The Grand Canyon. We arrived at Mike’s place later that afternoon and introduced ourselves. Mike is an old friend of Brad back when they were in the air force together and all it took was one phone call and boom we’re literally 2 minutes away from Grand Canyon. Brad gave us a heads up and told us we’re in for a real treat and that Mike’s quite the character. When we entered the house, everything was pristine and placed exactly where it should be. There wasn’t much, just the basic necessities. When he showed us to our room, it looked like we were staying at a hotel; everything was so neat and tidy. There were all the amenities you would find in a nice hotel placed neatly in a basket on the drawer: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, sewing kit, first aid kit, shower cap, soap, shampoo, moisturizer, the list goes on and on. It wasn’t just in one room either; all of the bedrooms were like this. Mike explained that it was an old habit he adopted from being in the military. He’s travelled so much and stayed in so many hotels that this was the way he’s used to living in. Heck, even the first square of the toilet paper in the restroom was folded in a V-shape. What’s interesting is that his personality doesn’t match the strict attention-to-detail kind of guy you would imagine after walking into a house as neat as his; it was the complete opposite. Mike is super laid back. There isn’t anything he hasn’t seen or done before during the time he was in the service and he doesn’t come across in a braggart, but as a matter of fact kind of way. It was interesting to hear him speak because he constantly used military lingo in his sentences; a lot of abbreviations and acronyms. Mike was the one who taught us how to create our own call sign. You take the first and last initial of your last name and use the NATO phonetic alphabet codeword. My call sign would be Whiskey Golfer. Amanda’s would be Echo Tango.
|Getting a tour at the air traffic control tower|
|Security's pretty tight here.|
|"Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby." That's a negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.|
|Mike started his shift after the tour, which left the rest of the afternoon for us to explore Grand Canyon|
As we walked towards the canyon with much anticipation, there was no forewarning from the surroundings of what’s to come. It was no different from walking along a path in your average park; that is until you reach the edge. The only thing that came out of our mouths upon seeing the canyon for the first time was nothing; just a moment of silence followed by a faint “wow”. It was like being hit on the head with a baseball bat, an epiphany, a revelation of pure awesomeness from Mother Nature, God, aliens from outer space, whatever you want to call it; it was simply grand.
|Hard to believe that moving water carved all of this|
|It felt like my eyes were playing tricks on me at times|
|Hard to get a good perspective|
|One of those times when I wish I had a better camera with a panoramic feature|
Softness of water.
The hardness of granite rock.
Cuts like a diamond.