For a long time I thought I would grow up to be a writer. Since I can remember I was an avid reader and spent most of my hours constructing fantastical worlds; filling them with characters, ridiculous plots, romances and histories. (I hadn’t seen much of the world then, and my imagination seemed much better than any kind of mapped reality.) In those days I thought that writers were born, not made; that the best novels I read came into existence all at once — springing fully formed from the author’s heads. I wanted for epiphany to strike, and doodled and read in the meantime.
I’m not sure when, but at some point I just stopped writing. Or thinking that one day I would be a writer. Many years later this blog began because eventually I realized that nothing well done comes without practice; nothing springs into being fully formed. Hands on experiences are everything; practice makes better — and better — but probably never perfect; art is made, not born. What does this have to do with the Grand Canyon — or the fact that I haven’t published a blog post in 4 weeks? May was the month of two destination weddings, one out of town birthday, a large number of social engagements, and a very long road trip. Foolishly, I thought I’d be blogging all along the way. I forgot that when you’re traveling you’re (hopefully) not online, wifi (and/or reception) is scarce, and at the end of the day you’re completely exhausted. Even so I regret falling out of practice — it’s made it that much harder to get my head back to the space where it was — where I craft these little stories about San Francisco and life and the world and send them out there with my love to the known and unknown friend, as much for your pleasure as our connection as my own practice.
I’ve actually visited the canyon many times but have never tried to camp there until now. Word to the wise — the few campgrounds inside the park itself fill up about one year in advance. I had amazing luck and found a cancellation two days prior, but you shouldn’t risk it if you can help it — because physically camping inside the park is amazing. The campsites are spacious (including a picnic table, fire-pit and parking spot), beautiful; the bathrooms are clean, and you’re a few minutes walk from a nearby grocery store, restaurants, hiking trails, and of course the rim itself. Immediately after pitching our tent a gigantic deer — even taller then M — leisurely strolled by and gave us a nod. It was just our fourth day on the road, and we were full of energy from snagging this spot and from visiting the canyon itself; as the sun set we cooked bacon over an open fire and in the dark I made BLTs while we passed the one flashlight back and forth. At dawn I walked to the rim and sat for a long time — thinking about water and the passing of years.
Find & book your campsite on the South Rim here
There’s no bad ways to explore, but be sure to check out the Desert View Watchtower
In the park you can find cheap wifi at the Maskwik & Yavapai Lodges
I feel so out of touch — what have you all been doing this summer so far? And what’s been happening in SF while I’ve been physically and mentally gone? If you have the time to leave a comment, I love reading them and connecting with new friends and old. If you aren’t yet, keep up with me on bloglovin to hear about the latest posts, and follow me on instagram for the daily grind.
Until next time!