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.