Thursday, June 28, 2012

sunrise, sunrise...

Have you ever watched the sunrise at the Grand Canyon? I have. It is quite possibly one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. It has been nearly 4 years since that morning, but the details are still so vivid in my head, it feels like it was just the other day.

When my husband and I married, we decided to take a Route 66 road trip to California for our honeymoon. Our plan was to just experience the road as it came to us, with only a few "have to do/see" things on the list. We spent half the honeymoon camping in various spots across the country (we also spent a night in the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Az.) My favorite spot was the Grand Canyon.

I lived in Arizona for the first 13 years of my life and never saw the Grand Canyon. I told my husband when we were on our honeymoon, we had to go because we would be so close. I wanted to see the sunset and the sunrise at the Grand Canyon.

Our first glimpse of the Canyon was just before the sun began to set. Unfortunately, our vantage point did not offer much in the way of an amazing sunset, but the scenery was breathtaking. I wanted to stay there forever. It was even more wonderful than I had always imagined it to be. I was very eager to see the sunrise the following morning.

After a wonderful evening by the campfire chatting with a lovely German couple we met, we set the alarm for an early rise and I went to bed as anxious as a child for Christmas morning. I was woken before my alarm to a horse walking around the campground. I had not realized there were horses living free in the Canyon and was very excited to be greeted by that.

I stirred my husband and we drove from our campground to a local lookout point. What we first thought would be a perfect location for watching the show quickly became overcrowded by a very noisy group of international tourists. Rather than allowing them to take away from the beauty and serenity of it all with their incessant chatter, we drove to a lookout spot that was actually just a cliff. No rails, no sidewalks, no people.

We crawled down the side of the cliff and found a rock that made for a good seat. The next 45 minutes or so were filled with awe as we watched the sun wake the Canyon. As the sun rose higher and higher, the colors became more and more vibrant, bursting with life. The Colorado River glistened in the morning light, beckoning the wildlife for a cool morning drink. The cool morning air slowly warmed as birds took flight to the sky. The only noises we heard were those from the Canyon waking or the occasional exclamation of amazement that slipped from our lips. It was as though we were the only two people in the world and all that beauty was handcrafted just for us. It was everything I had always hoped for and more. I couldn't stop praising God for the beauty of His creation and the perfection of that moment.

I was going to share a picture, but none of the ones I have do it justice. To be fair, my words don't do it justice either. It is just a memory I love to revisit often, because it is so perfectly beautiful. I pray I will again have an opportunity to see the sunrise at the Grand Canyon. (I could very easily be a morning person if I could see that every morning.)

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