Our great nation is often referred to as America the Beautiful and I believe that to be true. This past summer, I had the privilege of embarking on a journey to the Wild, Wild West. My family and I intended to reach the Grand Canyon.
Sometimes things don’t always go as planned. We encountered many obstacles on our way, but I now consider those difficulties a blessing in disguise. I truly discovered the beauty that is America on my odyssey to the west.
The summer of my junior year was looking bright as the five of us packed into the van. Everything I needed was packed and ready to go. Regardless, my mother still nagged me about forgetting something. She began to read off the checklist once more before we left. Finally, she read off something I had forgotten. It was, of course, the ever elusive toothbrush.
I ran back into the house to grab the one last item that I needed when I saw a pad of paper laying on the table. I took up the pad and grabbed my toothbrush. Little did I know that this book would eventually contain the story of one wild vacation.
We pulled out of our driveway with great anticipation for the next two and a half weeks. The first few days were full of nothing but driving, and I watched ever so closely as the scenery changed the farther we moved from my Indiana home. This would be the longest vacation I have ever been on yet, with a total of about five thousand three hundred miles.
The van was nice and spacious, which was especially good for us siblings sitting in the back, but I wasn’t so sure that the vehicle would be up to the task. We were going to encounter everything from rigid mountains to blistering desert.
On the fifth day of our trip we reached those steep mountains, known as the Rockies. We ended up in Colorado Springs. It was a big, but very compact mountain city. Truthfully, we were just planning on passing through, but things didn’t go quite as planned. Upon leaving Colorado Springs, a semi full of propane wrecked along the highway and with no other exits, we were forced to stay.
If it weren’t for that incident I would never have gotten to experience the thrill of riding the white water through the Rocky Mountains. My family and I decided to go white water rafting on some high level rapids. Everyone suited up and headed down to the river. The water glistened like nothing else I had seen before.
As we floated down the river for a while I was in complete awe of the spectacular view of the mountains and the way they reflected off the water. I turned around to see one group struggling down the river. We hit our first big rapid and cleared it with ease, but the group behind us flipped their raft. Bodies were everywhere in the water and the people couldn’t swim. Even though it was surprising it was quite comical to see what looked like a bunch of drowning turkeys. Everyone survived just fine thanks to good swimmers like others and myself on the trip, but it was truly a wild experience.
The tenth day of our trip brought us to the overbearing heat of the desert. We had passed the Grand Canyon, but were going to make it there on the way back. As we drove by the famous Area 51, our van was out of fuel. We reluctantly stopped at a town that is actually famous for its size and location, but it is not the most beautiful place in the world. The town was named Rachel and only had ninety-four inhabitants. Even though this was not a pretty place, I was blessed to find beauty in the personalities of the citizens.
We were warmly welcomed with great hospitality by these people. We even got to try some of the local cuisine, that they called Alien burgers. The kind folk of Rachel leant us a trailer for the night on we were on our way the next morning.In conclusion, we did eventually make it to the breath taking Grand Canyon. It was worth every dilemma and every obstacle to make it there, but I found that getting there was half the fun and I observed that our nation has truly earned the name America the Beautiful, because of it’s people and it’s landscape.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.