During the Christmas vacation last year, a month before I was to defend my thesis, I squeezed in a road trip with couple of my close friends from India, Kishan and Avinash. We stayed on road for five days and visited places in Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
The previous day we drove from Lawrence, Kansas to Gallup in New Mexico, a 950 miles (1529 km) drive that took almost 14 hrs. The initial plan of driving all the way to Flagstaff for the night was foiled by heavy snow that got heavier even before we had reached Gallup. At around 11:00 pm in the night as the snow started piling on road, we saw couple of cars loosing control and go off road right in front of us. And it wasn’t long before we decided to take an exit in Gallup and doze off in Days Inn motel for the night.
Morning we drove in snow cleared highway to Meteorite Crater point only to realize that the place wasn’t open for tourists for the day. We then drove towards northwest of Arizona through the ghat region to our next destination, Grand Canyon National Park. To Canyons in Arizona the only connection I had prior to this trip was through Jodie Foster’s Contact movie in which she sits alone by the canyon rim to contemplate the universe.
When I saw the Himalayan Mountains for the first time, I told myself that there would exist no other place on this planet to overwhelm one, solely by its incomprehensible size. But the sight of the Grand Canyon proved me wrong. Before we entered the South Rim park entrance, we took a diversion to the Pipe Creek Vista Canyon viewing point where the view presented itself for the first time.
The snow covered canyon was nothing like I had ever seen before. While I heard few people complain about the snow, I personally enjoyed it. Both Himalayas and the Grand Canyon cannot be compared, for they are different and awesome (yes awesome) in their own characteristics but I was just considering the idea of a place where you look at a view like that of Himalayas above the horizon and the Canyon below the horizon (funny thought this was).
We explored the park in the cold weather by walking along the Time’s trail starting from Yavapai geological museum till the Village.
In the evening we drove back to Page city…
to be continued…