Traveling with my mother and father is the fondest memory I have of my childhood. Together, we’ve traveled to Las Vegas, Baltimore and even Niagara Falls. As a little girl and even as a young adult I’ve always looked forward to learning where our adventures would take us.
When I was younger, I always wanted to go to the magnificent wonder known as the Grand Canyon. I’d seen pictures in magazines and on TV, and I just wanted to be there and experience the beauty first-hand. I was taken aback by the gorgeous, vibrant colors and the fact that something so amazing was just within my reach.
In November 2002, when I was just 10 years old and living in El Paso, Texas, my parents decided to take a nice, little Arizona excursion. These trips were definitely not out of the ordinary. My grandparents lived in Tucson, so going to Arizona was very normal to me.
When the trip began, I referred to myself as “Arselia Gales: Reporter/Recorder” and documented every single detail of the trip from the car ride there to the car ride home. Nothing was left unnoticed. I was determined to capture the magnificence of the Grand Canyon and everything in-between. We still have those old VHS tapes somewhere and even got some of them transferred to a DVD.
I also put myself in charge of taking all the photographs. I was a young multimedia journalist and didn’t even know it.
When we arrived to the Grand Canyon, I was awestruck. It was even better than the pictures. I was speechless.
I can remember the long, seemingly treacherous drive up to the canyon. As the elevation increased, the temperature decreased. The declining temperature never seemed believable because the sun was shining just as it was in Phoenix. I really wanted to see some snow.
Luckily my mother was aware of the cold temperatures and came well prepared. My shiny silver jacket, which hung in my closet at home untouched, was now my best friend.
The four days we spent at the canyon were probably some of the four best days of my young life. Every day, my parents and I would go on new trails and explore new parts of the canyon. We saw lots of wildlife, and I’m grateful we never ran into any mountain lions or bobcats.
I’m still convinced we didn’t see the entire canyon, but I’m happy with what we saw. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. The sunrise and sunsets were gorgeous, and the canyon itself was breathtaking. It was never-ending. I even remember seeing the Colorado River. I could see why this was one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
In addition to our daily canyon travels, my parents and I went to museums and saw an IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon.
When our four days in the canyon were up, I was happy and sad. I was glad that I finally could cross something off of my hypothetical bucket list, but I was sad that the trip was coming to an end.
Now that I’m older, I’d definitely love to see the Grand Canyon with my roommates or even go with my parents again. I’ve never seen anything so stunning and magnificent. Perhaps the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls tie for first place in the “Places I’ve Been” category, but that’s another story.