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The Journey . . .

    The Grand Canyon

by Maricia Mlynek

     

Updated on Wednesday*:

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Opportunity and adventure was what the untamed West held for those willing to help our country build a path into its wilderness. As we drove the highways of California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah, I can say honestly that travel in these parts is not for the faint of heart.

I recently read the diary of William Lockridge, an adventurer during the “Gold Rush.” His description of the journey western was enlightening and informative. He explained the struggles and fears of the travelers and the dangers each person faced on the path into the wilderness. They traveled distances determined by water sources and edible grass. I am in awe to think of the shear determination it would have taken to make this journey. I do not tease when I say that I have been through four states and I’m still looking for grass.

Those of the past--pioneers, forty-niners and adventurers--were cast from a different mold than us. They were a whole other breed of people. Rugged and vicious were the travels they took and I am privileged to have crossed the paths that those brave souls blazed.

One of those paths led us to one of the Earth’s most powerful landscapes--the Grand Canyon, which is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep. Breathtaking and awe-inspiring is all I can say. Standing beside the gigantic crevice made me feel so incredibly small and insignificant. Yet, as I looked down into the heart of the canyon, the Colorado River seemed to run smooth and slow. How incredible it is to think that the river forged this enormous canyon. It truly proves the power of time and perseverance.

The canyon represents the people of the past, like Lockridge. It is a monument of strength. As men marched across the land with nothing but oxen, horses and donkeys, they were small and insignificant. Over time, their paths dug the future for many others. Determination and drive cleared the canyons of our untamed West. The pages of history are etched out on the sides of these mountains and the stories are still being told and still being written.

The Grand Canyon is indeed grand. Although small, we may each be beside it, time will show that we will never be insignificant. Let the rivers run deep in your soul. Keep your heart clean and pristine; then, canyons will be forged on your path as well--canyons that will be powerful landscapes for others to see and be guided by. How many more canyons will I see on this journey? I anticipate many.

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