Friday, July 17, 2009

More than a Giant Crevice


Why do you believe so many Americans have loaded themselves and their families up in cars to stare out at the Grand Canyon?

The Grand Canyon is a fantastic place. It's awe-inspiring, you can't help but doubt your eyes. I remember writing about it the night we got back; I was still dumbstruck.


I think that going to the Grand Canyon symbolizes the "American road trip" experience. Having a place like this is an excuse for parents to force the entire family into a moving, enclosed bubble where they will spend several hours together. Everyone will pretend they hate it, but in reality the family will treasure this time together forever.







People take their kids back to the Canyon because they want to share the experience with their kids. It's great fun to see the excitement build on the faces of the people around you. All the way up until the very edge of the canyon, you can't even tell it's coming. You're just driving along, and then all the sudden there's an enormous hole in front of you. No camera can capture the vastness of this canyon. It stretches for as far as you can see. I've never been more genuinely shocked by a landscape.


But it's not just about seeing a nice view,
it's about the whole process....singing along to the one sole radio station in the middle of the Arizona desert, stopping for cheeseburgers or pizza at some freeway town, inventing games to pass the time, fighting in the car, getting hopelessly lost and finally making it to the destination. It's about community.





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