When Life Gives You Snow...In The Desert
For the last week, I have been traveling. An opportunity to fly out to the Tucson Gem Show came up and as I had decided that this was the year of getting out of my comfort zone, I jumped at it. My oldest daughter, Mckenna and I flew out on a day where our state was covered in ice.
Arizona turned out to be as beautiful as expected. The weather in Tucson was fantastic, the people lovely, the traffic easy to manage and simply a wonderful change of pace. We went to the show to discover most of what we really wanted to experience had already taken place earlier in the month. What we learned was that the gem show runs for almost a month! It isn't just one show but many! We enjoyed the portion we saw but didn't leave with items we'd hoped for.
What did happen? Well, we’d had plans to attend an event in Phoenix but an upset stomach curbed those. While we were disappointed, it opened up another opportunity for us. We modified our plans. Mckenna and I decided we would do a road trip to Sedona which everyone had been raving about. After looking at a map, and the weather, we noted "close" the Grand Canyon was to Sedona. Booking a room at a place in Williams, then returning to Sedona after seeing one of the Greatest Wonders of The World seemed to be a great plan. We left Tucson, headed to Phoenix which was fun and hip, then up through Sedona to Flagstaff. It was here that another whim, we headed up to the Grand Canyon sooner than we'd expected.
Why? Well, apparently a snow storm was on it's way. Yes, snow. We didn't take that into account on our adventure. We managed to find jackets at a funky consignment shop because it was cold. Not just chilly, it was 35 degrees. We were not prepared for this. We had prepared for Tucson weather. Again, not quite what we’d hoped for.
Hats, jackets, gloves and a map in hand, our adventure moved to the Grand Canyon in time to view the sunset over the cavernous earthly treasure. We pulled the car off to the side of the road as we noted the sun was beginning to fade. The car temperature read 21 degrees but we got out and sat on a bench and watched the sun set bathing the canyon in soft tones. Snow clouds touched the earth along the rim in the distance threatening to hide the sun.
It was stunning, breathtaking and awe inspiring. Everything you’ve ever heard is true. Everything you’ve seen is simply two dimensional in comparison. Everything you’ve felt is mild until you stand on the edge of the precipice of the canyon.
Life changed in that moment. What seemed like big challenges or frustrations or limitations, disappeared along with the sun over the horizon. It didn’t matter how cold it was outside. It didn’t matter that the sun was setting. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have a ton of time to spend there at that scenic look out just shy of Mohave Point. Only that moment mattered. Only that moment was life.
After navigating the winding roads around the South Rim of the Canyon in the dark, we headed to Williams and our room there. My daughter once again checked the weather and discovered a storm headed in that direction. Eight inches of snow would be coming the next day. Our time there was shortened to just that night. We moved on to Sedona the next day instead of getting caught in the storm.
Sedona just like the canyon is exactly as everyone says - beyond imagining. The red rock blanketing the landscape everywhere you look is, well, there really are no words. It takes your breath away. It causes you to stop. It requires you to be in the moment. You just be.
We did the touristy stuff for a bit then we decided we’d hike Cathedral Rock. Full disclosure, while I am not overweight, I am not in shape. I don’t do intense workouts regularly. Yoga and meditation are my everyday activities - low intensity. A hike is NOT low intensity! Certainly not after days of driving around the lovely state of Arizona! I did it though. It took my breath away but I paused at different points along the way. Each view was different. It was fabulous. Challenging and exhausting but thrilling and exhilarating.
It snowed again the next day. Everyone who worked and lived in Sedona would gawk and drop their jaws at the snow cascading down from the clouds. They’d not seen much snow. It happened from time to time but apparently more than usual right while we were visiting. It was different snow than we were use to from Connecticut. It looked like little styrofoam balls. Not fluffy soft flakes. It fit the ruggedness of the area. Then melted immediately.
Most of our trip did not go as we planned at the onset. We altered and opened ourselves to opportunities when they presented themselves or created them when challenges came along.
When life gives you snow, even in the desert, you make the most of it!
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