ok, i'm behind in updating because i was really stupid/tired and ended up at a motel sunday night that did not have internet access. i was shocked. i've come to just expect it.
i didn't get to write about day twelve in much detail - my parents drove as far as pueblo with me, and on the way, we stopped at the air force academy, where my dad was once a cadet, and also where i was born.
it was cool being there with my parents as they relived memories of the place.
my dad, while at the air force, was part of a project that analyzed the shroud of turin and created a 3-d model using the negative image of the shroud to determine shape - the result looks creepily like han solo frozen in carbonite.
whenever we visit the famous church at the academy, we go to the downstairs area, which has one of the models for viewing, and a display explaining how it was created. there is a brass plaque with my dad's name on it. he said 'i just love that. all these facist bastards who pass through this place, and i'm the one with my name on the wall.' brilliant.
it was an emotional goodbye, parting with my parents. it felt like when i left for gainesville so many years ago: here i am, off to start my life. it was the true goodbye - not the one in new york where i left dear friends - but the one from family, which is so important.
i was kind of in an emotional haze for the rest of the drive - helped by the fact that i'd be seeing some of the most astonishing scenery i've yet to be exposed to. and that brings us to day 13.
i stayed in another red roof inn - i realy like the red roof inns. they have internet access (though not always free) and their rooms are the cleanest of all the places i've stayed on this trip. unfortunately, they are not as omnipresent as motel 6 or super 8..
on the way to the grand canyon, i decided to take a little detour and see the painted desert. spectacular.
then hit the grand canyon at sunset. all the cliches are true. i recommend walking as far as you can along the ridge trail to get away from the crowds of stupid people.
like these. actually these people were ok. it was the noisy kids and people throwing things off the side that really bothered me. mostly i wanted to just find a quiet spot to myself.
he is actually nowhere -near- the edge. she was so paranoid.
i was amazed that there was only moderate effort to keep people from jumping/falling off the edge. the popular outcroppings have railings, but anyone who wants to make a grand exit from this world has ample opportunity here.
i didn't do a panorama photo. it just felt too cheesy. how many panorama pictures have been taken of this place, and what could i possibly add? instead i took photos for a david hockney style photo collage. i'll post it when it's all put together. i did have to take the prerequisite 'oh no, i'm falling off the edge' picture, though.
the colors and sights and emotions of the day were pretty overwhelming. the sun hit its orange/purple peak as i was driving the winding road back from the grand canyon to the highway. the entire day was so beautiful, and i was filled with thoughts of how scary and uncertain the future is, but also how lucky i am to have the amazing friends and family that i do.
drove into the night until i crossed the california border, and slept at that stupid motel 6 with no internet access in needles, ca.