Two of my friends and I wanted to take a trip to a few National Parks in the American West, and the Grand Canyon was one of them. Since I had never been there before, I very much looked forward to the trip. When we arrived, we did a little hiking around a few of the overlooks and took some pictures. When we arrived at the first overlook I was absolutely in awe – I could not believe how beautiful the Grand Canyon is. We then went ahead and took a bus tour, which was a lot of fun as well. The bus driver/guide was fantastic. She was extremely courteous and knowledgeable. Whenever we would stop at different points she would make sure to answer everyone’s questions before we left that spot for the next.
After the bus tour, and as the evening hours approached, my two friends were pretty exhausted, so they went back to the hotel room. I, however, was thirsty for more, so I went out on a little night hike, where I was able to see the sunset over the canyon, an absolutely breathtaking sight! After my evening hike I headed back to the room and retired for the evening.
The next morning we got up, had breakfast, and headed over to the Visitors Center. The staff at the Visitors Center was extremely polite and accommodating. I was really impressed by that. We then saw the IMAX film which we all enjoyed very much. Seeing the entire Grand Canyon, the rapids, the different rock formations, all on the IMAX screen was unbelievable. I also enjoyed learning the history of the Grand Canyon, things I never knew before. I wish it was longer, I didn’t want it to end!
After the IMAX, we went on the shuttle tours. We all really loved the shuttle tours because we are older men, and being able to travel to all the different areas of the canyon and the different overlooks without having to walk was a delight. Without the shuttles we would not have been able to see anywhere close to the amount of what we saw had we been walking. Also, the shuttle drivers were very courteous and knowledgeable. They made us feel at ease, like we were on vacation. They really went the extra mile to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves.
The most memorable part of this trip for me was just the vastness of the Grand Canyon. When I was standing on top of one of the overlooks, staring down into the canyon, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Grand Canyon is truly one of God’s great creations. Also, I couldn’t believe how quickly the weather and wind speeds change. One second there is a slight breeze and then suddenly the wind is gusting. This trip far exceeded my expectations – television, pictures and books do not do the Grand Canyon justice. You have to see it for yourself with your own eyes. Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time was unbelievable. This trip was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken in my entire life, and I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I cannot wait to return – I wish I was there right now!
-Burton Heller – Pekin, Illinois