Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On The Road--Doc Visits the Grand Canyon

Doc enjoys the view from Mather Point.   
      Finally it is the day we've waited for-- we're going to the Grand Canyon! At our KOA Kozy Cabin, my family of four is packing for the day while across the lot, The RV campers are doing the same. Diana, Russell, Delayne, Duane and Stefanie are sharing a vehicle and my family will be following in the Rav-4.
     Just as Darell is loading the ice chest into the trunk, I hear a squeaky voice from the front seat. I pull open my on-the-road bag and Doc asks to be let out. He refuses to go with us. What??? He reminds us that under the terms of his "contract", we are to shoot photos only of his good side. Now that he has two mended legs, he is a bit self-conscious and doesn't want to pose for the pictures. The issue is debated among his handlers for a few minutes.
     "How about a touch-up session with a black permanent marker?"  I propose.
     He presses his pointer finger gingerly against his mouth and pretends to be deep in thought. After a few tense moments the little "diva" gnome gives us the silent treatment. Now I know it's time to play hard-ball!
     "It's either the permanent marker, or back in the suitcase with the panties and socks," I say, with a hand on my hip for serious emphasis.That did it.
     "Fine," Doc huffs, "but you better cover up all the glue lines."   And I did.
Can you see Doc and the other dare-devils on the ridge?

     About an hour later we are at the entry gate of the Southern rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. For all those newbie travelers out there, you can't really see the Grand Canyon (hereafter referred to as GC) all in one day. In fact you are given a week long pass at the gate for $25.00, along with a much-needed map of the 277 mile chasm.
      We think we have picked a good day to come, who else would be here on a Thursday while most schools are still in session?  My answer:  Everybody and their dog! Like a million other tourists, we fight for parking space and then proceed to the most important facilities in the park . . . the bathrooms.  Ahhhh . . .  now we can concentrate on the scenic views. We skip the visitor center and follow the signs to our first overlook at Mather Point.
     There are no words that can describe my first sight of the canyon. "Awestruck" comes close, yet it fails to describe the emotion that bubbles up inside me as I peer into the vast crevice. It doesn't seem real, more like a painted backdrop and I can't quit staring. "Wow," I whisper over and over. There is an overwhelming majestic quality about the place that humbles me to my core. I know in my heart God is here and  He has made every bit of this for us. Being here is a dream that Darell and I have shared for years, but I never expected to be so moved by it all. An unexpected  rush of  tears well in my eyes and I turn away from the group to stifle the sob caught in my throat. God is so good.
Doc took this family  picture. Not bad for someone smaller than the camera.
     It isn't long before our family members are posing for pictures and suggesting great shots for Doc. We spot a great perch for Doc and I carefully set him in place. While I'm clicking shot after shot to find  Doc's "best" angle, Darell sees that a German-speaking family has noticed Doc and are excitedly  shooting his picture too. A little farther down the walking trail, I set Doc on a rock for another picture. Darell takes this one and just as he finishes I watch a grinning Japanese family approach Darell and in broken English, ask permission to take Doc's picture. I think I actually saw Doc's chest puff out a bit more. Here's a few of his best poses:
My favorite shot of Doc at the GC.

This is the shot enjoyed by the Japanese family. Notice the Colorado river. 

Writer's Reflection:
English is not the primary language spoken at the Grand Canyon we soon discover. All day we hear snatches of foreign conversations floating on the breeze. But Darell and I notice one thing all the visitors have in common--they are happy, really happy. Everywhere you look, people are smiling, joking and offering to take pictures for strangers. In this place there is a common bond of joy that joins our various cultures and for a time, diffuses the differences.

      "My world is filled with beautiful things; they are meant to be pointers to Me, reminders of My abiding Presence. The earth still declares My Glory to those who have eyes that see and ears that hear."--Jesus (From: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

      All Christians, including those in our manuscripts and stories, should be doing the same thing--pointing others to God and reminding them of his ever-abiding presence in a gentle manner. Then, and only then, will their lives and ours be filled with that spiritual joy that transcends all our differences.

Here's to Happy Endings! Happy 30th anniversary, baby!

Coming up: Doc Tours Las Vegas   


  1. I love that last picture of you and daddy! I am so blessed to have such AMAZING parents!

    1. You are in luck. It just so happens we think we have some AMAZING kids. Thanks for you sweet comment.

  2. I love your final thoughts. Everyone was happy and smiling. I worked at a historic site for ten years and one of the greatest perks of the job was working for people who were on vacation! Almost everyone is happy on vacation. It made it a fun place to go every day (not to mention the awesome co-workers and the fact that I was being paid to talk - about history no less!). Happy 30th! You don't look old enough to be married 30 years!!

  3. Gabrielle,
    Thanks for your sweet comments. Being on vacation probably has a lot to do with folks being in a good mood.


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