What In The World Is This: The Grand Canyon Edition

When I first started dating my lovely wife, she saw I was trying to up my photo and Instagram game. She then gave me some advice that pretty much shifted the way I took pictures from that moment on.

Shamaine said to me, “Capture the shot that your eyes see.”

And she’s right. Sometimes we’re so floored by a scene and then we try to improve it with angles or lighting or even moving the subject to a better pose. But we loved that first glimpse of something, and what’s what you should be photographing. Sometimes it’s best not to overthink it: Point, click and enjoy.

Which is why all my photos from the Grand Canyon are awful.

KHSQ4540Oh, sure, they’re pretty. They’re so pretty. I took so many damn pretty photos and they’re pretty. BUT! – and I must put this in – they didn’t capture what my eyes saw.

I’m not sure anything could, it was that spectacular.

KUVX2218They say there are few things in this world that live up to expectations and The Grand Canyon is one of them, and they are goddam right. I could tell you about the colors, the depth, the misty fog, the beauty of the rocks, the sunset that, even hidden behind clouds, gave the whole world an unearthly glow. But I won’t, because words are going to do worse than pictures at trying to describe it.

IMG_1532So instead, here are a few things I didn’t know about The Grand Canyon that I learned at The Grand Canyon.

A Few Things I Didn’t Know About The Grand Canyon That I Learned At The Grand Canyon.

It’s In The Middle Of Nowhere

You know how you’ve seen those shots of the Pyramids, where you think they’re out in the desert but actually they’re right next to a city. Yeah, this is not that.

The Grand Canyon is basically hours from nothing. There are a few small towns around it (more on that later) but basically, you need to find transport and then drive and drive and drive and drive and then continue to drive and then suddenly, you are there. But wherever you’re coming from, there is some driving to be done.


Ok, so sometimes, Arizona looks like this.

IMG_1350But then the next damn day, sometimes Arizona will look like this!

IMG_1503Look, I know it’s January and it snows in January. And I know people go to Arizona to ski, so of course it snows.

But tell me honestly, when you think of the Grand Canyon, do you ever think of it covered in a blanket of fresh white powder? Hell no. It’s all sand and sun and hot and full of the desert. But it turns out that it pretty much snows all winer and that some day’s your get warmth and fun and sometimes, freezing cold.

The Food Is Terrible

Terrible. There isn’t a single good spot to eat inside the park and outside of is no picnic either. We ate a few different restaurants, both in the famous historic lodgings and also along the roads, and they were all just awful as every other one.

I’m not even putting in any pics it’s so bad. You have been warned.

The Famous Sunsets And Sunrises Come Quickly Or Not At All

We wanted to see the sunset and so we drove up to one of the great lookout points to see it. And we didn’t have to wait long. The sun started to set and the sky was suddenly painted with beautiful orange glow unlike anything I’d see…

For exactly one second. Then the clouds came and it was all gone. And sadly, the next morning it was so cloudy we couldn’t see a bit of the sunrise. Just grey. Ah well. Just something to know if you have your heart set on a famous Gran Canyon sunset.

Please, Be Careful

I can’t stress this enough, Most of the canyon isn’t protected with railing, which means that you can walk right up to the edge. And you’ll want to, because those views are incredible.

But the rocks are wetter and more slippy than you think and the ledges way narrower. I had a friend and co-worker who lost her life this very way last year and her presence was with me the entire time.

I’m not saying live life in a turtle shell and shake yourself to sleep each night with fear, I’m just saying, if you go, please be careful.

They Have Some Weird Animals.

Seriously, what are these?

It’s Not Just The Canyon

I loved seeing The Grand Canyon, but my god, there was beauty everywhere in this damn state. Every time I thought I had seen the most beautiful thing, I’d turn around and there would be another gorge or rockface even more beautiful. What the hell Arizona, stop surprising me with unexpected natural beauty!


IMG_1556It’s So Beautiful You Can’t Stand It

You. Just. Can’t. Stand. It.

IMG_1469Bucket list item checked off, and if it’s not on your’s, add it. Just remember, that beautiful expensive camera you have there to capture what you see isn’t really going to do a damn thing.