Do you like heights? Do they scare you? They do me, and I suppose it’s only normal they do: from an evolutionary point of you view, they’re pretty bad for you. Yet I have this thing with heights, I’ve always had this uncontrollable urge to step closer to the edge. Not to jump, mind you. That’s never a good idea.
I’m standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, literally 20 centimetres away from death. Let’s rewind for a bit.
“Amsterdam? Awesome, man! If the dude with the combover (Trump) becomes president, I’m gonna move there with you guys.” Bill shows me his big smile. I’m standing outside of the hotel and talking to him. Bill is a 40-something year old guy with a beard and a bright orange canoe on top of his Subaru Impreza WRX. “I’m gonna kayak in the Grand Canyon man, WOOHOO!” He pumps his fist in the air. “It’s one of those once in a lifetime experiences, I’ve done it five times now and I want to do it a hundred times.” He folds his hands together like a yogi. “Take care brother.” He bows his head and gets into his car. What a guy.
Annemiek takes the wheel, enabling me to write down some of my words into my fluorescent yellow notepad. We leave Flagstaff behind and take the 180 north towards the Grand Canyon. It pours down from the sky, a massive, 30 minute during thunderstorm has just passed. Even when the wipers clear the water from the windshield, the landscape impresses.
Wildlife almost close enough to touch. Did try. Did not succeed.
Everything is green and big pine tree forests make way every now and again for big open plains, with just some low vegetation. Big mountains doom up on either side of the road as we drive for tens of kilometres without encountering a single house. The vastness of the land here impresses me hugely, I’ve never experienced anything like it. It feels like you can walk into the forrest here at any point and disappear forever.
The roads are long and winding, with white lines on the side and yellow marking in the middle. There’s no 98 Rock (pronounce with overly manly voice), though, my all time favourite radio station on the east coast.
Rainy days. Figuring I’d go to the desert I did not pack for this..
Petrol prices here are an absolute joke. 12 gallons for less than 40 Dollar. That’s 0.80 Euro per liter.
“Goddammit, Jesper!!” Annemiek hits me. I laugh. I’ve just started playing the “turn-on-the-seat-heater-without-letting-your-friend-know-game” and Annemiek doesn’t seem to enjoy it. Great game, and Annemiek getting grumpy is all the encouragement I need to keep going.
After getting shoes in the local mall we are now driving in the pouring rain to the Grand Canyon. When we arrive after a 2 hour mother nature still isn’t done with being a little cry baby. The roads are rather busy here and after checking at the lodges around the rim, we decide to instead call it a day and head back to Flagstaff and call that our home base. But not before we have a quick peek at the edge of the Grand Canyon.
From what I’ve seen, I can tell you: it’s pretty deep. It’s a whole bunch of rocks with a big hole in it, basically. And it is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, except for if you’ve ever been here, then it’s exactly like that.
Turns out, the grand canyon is pretty deep.
Do you like heights? Do they scare you? They do me, and I suppose it’s only normal they do: from an evolutionary point of you view, they’re pretty bad for you. Yet I have this thing with heights, I always have this uncontrollable urge to step closer to the edge. Not to jump, mind you. That’s never a good idea.
But still, the closer you get to the edge, the more excited you get. Or that’s how it works for me. Usually there is a nice railing to a height, to prevent you from getting too close, but not at the Grand Canyon. Just some rocks and then a sheer drop of literally hundreds and hundreds of meters. (mom, stop reading here)
So did that stop me getting closer to the edge? (Mind you, I’m not trying to be tough here, just illustrating how silly my brain sometimes works) Not really. My heart is pounding like crazy, doing at least 180 beats per minute. STOP, it says. Stop moving, you blithering idiot.
It had been raining all day and the rocks were therefore rather slippery, did that slow down my brain from stepping on the edge? Not really. It’s weird, now that I’m writing it all up it doesn’t make any sense to go stand on the edge, but it did at the time.
Heart rate to the max, but still smiling. Sorry, Mom.
Why not, a grand canyon selfie.
Nice and dry on our way back to the hotel. Saw three cows on the way there.
Can’t get enough of the roads here. Tell me this does not look spectacular.
After that, we slowly started making our way back to Flagstaff. There, I had the best Thai food I’ve ever had in my life (aside from the food I had in Thailand itself) and called it a day.
By the time we get back to the hotel, Bill just pulls in with his orange kayak on his roof, and gives me a big thumbs up with a huge grin on his face. I guess we both had a pretty good day..
N.B. Thanks everyone for reading my silly stories. It means a lot to me, I love you all!
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