Saturday, April 26, 2008

This Place is Exhausting

We're in Flagstaff now. And I've been exhausted since we got here. I'm not talking about your thank-goodness-I-finally-get-to-go-to-bed exhaustion. I'm talking constantly-out-of-breath, blurred vision, body-weighs-too-much, can-barely-walk-upstairs, slept-12-hours-but-I-need-a-nap exhausted. Toss in the constant headaches, minor nosebleeds and cracked dry hands, and I'm just not a happy camper right now. Not that I'd ever actually want to go camping.

Anyway. That was how I felt yesterday when we met our tour guide for the Grand Canyon. I was barely able to drag myself to breakfast. Physically, I was miserable. But once we arrived in the park, the experience was worth every second of discomfort.

All those people who tell you that a picture cannot even give the slightest idea of the experience are absolutely correct. I'm not one of those people who can sit and quietly enjoy a view. I get bored too quickly. But I can tell you this: 30 minutes at an overlook is not enough. With every step, you see something different and amazing.

We'd take a tiny walk up a hill. I'd be gasping for air, alternately seeing everything double or having tunnel vision, and I just couldn't make myself stop to rest. Everything was amazing. And I only had 30 minutes to look around before we had to get back into the van to see the next place.

Everything is so amazing in fact, that it's difficult to believe that it's real. Every time we stepped up to an overlook, I had to get a good grip on the handrail so that I could orient myself to something where I could recognize the scale. At one point, we looked down on nine miles of the Colorado River--and it was just a fraction of the view.

Now I understand how Bob and Stella, a couple who was on our tour, could say, "We come back every couple of years. You get to need to see the Canyon again after a while."

I'm not at all religious. But then--looking at something billions of years in the making-- I was aware of the tiny tiny, short-lived creature I am in this world.

Maybe this exhaustion is dehydration or an unlikely altitude sickness. I'm pushing water, iced tea, and Gatorade for the next couple of days. And I'm going to take naps whenever I'm tired. I napped in the car while Curtis wandered around Riordan Mansion park and then made him take me back to the room for a four-hour nap while he visited a meteor crater without me.

Whatever is causing this exhaustion, it better pass soon. Because we're going back to the Grand Canyon on Monday and I want to be able to walk all day.

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1 Comments:

At April 27, 2008 at 12:07 PM , OpenID blog said...

100% agree with you on the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon. Saw it a couple of years ago for the first time. Nothing man-made I've ever seen could even compare... something you've definitely got to see in person. Welcome to the club!

 

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