Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday July 27, 2008 7:45 AM Arizona time

Yes we are up, and we’ve been up for over two hours already, and we have photos to prove it. Not only are we up already, while on vacation, we have already walked more than two miles… along the rim of the Grand Canyon watching the sun rise.

It’s something I did a long time about, about 35 years to be exact, with John’s brother Joe. Long story short… we were stationed in San Antonia and Joe wanted to visit and see the west. We decided to make it a trip west to visit my brother David in Tucson AZ and John’s sister in Riverside CA. Joe flew out to Texas and while I was picking him up at the airport some world crisis came up and all military leaves were cancelled. So no trip for John, but he insisted that Joe and I go without him, and we did. We drove our 1970 Chevy Nova from San Antonio to the Pacific and back, with many side trips in between. One of the greatest memories of that trip was Grand Canyon.

Like typical tourists we decided to go see the Canyon, and arrived at the entrance well after dark… I seem to remember it was hours after the sun had gone down. The ranger on duty asked if we had reservations, and of course we didn’t. He said we could park in any legal parking spot and sleep in the car. Would could not camp, and he recommended that we did not go far from the car, as we could run into wild animals or fall off the edge. (Or something like that, enough to scare me into staying near the car!)

So all 6 foot something of Joe and I slept (or tried) in the Nova. I remember him trying the back seat, then changing and changing again. Neither of us could sleep, and then one of us realized the moon was coming up… let’s see what we could see. We walked a few feet from the car, and there it was, the Grand Canyon…. with a full moon seemingly rising out of it. I get goose bumps every time I remember it, even now as I type, it was just so beautiful. I was snapping away photos (slides) and looked at Joe and said, “I wish you were John” and he said back to me, “I wish you were Cheryle”. Not only did we watch the moon rise, we also watched the sun come up that same morning. And then we drove every mile we could to see all we could see. Somewhere in my attic we have a tray of slides to prove it.

Thirty-five years later I saw it again, this time with John. The scenery hasn’t changed much, and this time I didn’t have to sleep in the car… it was wonderful!

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