Back in April, Nate needed to head to Arizona for work. Now, there’s not a whole lot of things that I get super jealous of, but of them, travel is probably what I can be ridiculous over. And if it’s Nate traveling? That’s where I want to be.
So, seeing this as a great opportunity to live out my life motto of “MAKE TRAVEL HAPPEN ALL THE TIME,” I casually mentioned that maybe I could come along and we could make a quick weekend trip out of it?
I’m crazy when I don’t travel for long stretches we are meant to be, Nate thought it was a great idea. Arizona, here we come!
While this wasn’t my first time in the Grand Canyon state — though I’ve only ever spent a few hours there, and most of it was driving through the northern parts of it— this time with Nate, we really wanted to see as much as we could. We often do these sort of epic day trips or weekend trips that make our friends think we’re insane. The thing is, I don’t mind hours in a car because that’s the trip, you know? Especially with roadtrips, the destination is only a part of the journey; it’s the places you stop at along the way, the hidden gems you find between rest stops, the spontaneous road taken that turned out to be the most beautiful road taken (see photo above).
So, just to say, we knew going into the weekend that it was going to be a lot of long hours in a car. Our itinerary ended up going something like:
Saturday: arrive in Phoenix –> get rental car (and wait HOURS because rental agency overbooked about 25 reservations) –> drive up to Sedona, stop for lunch, check out places to take photos –> drive north and stop for an overnight about an hour from the Grand Canyon, gorge on Pizza Hut because we can’t get it delivered to us back in Oakland –> get some shut eye.
Sunday: wake up early the next morning and drive up to the Grand Canyon (taking note of the thunderstorm that started building right behind us) –> explore as much of the rim as we could,
hike walk the rim trail and give Nate a heart attack by leaning a bit too far over the edge, shoot ridiculous photos and videos, drive along the endless canyon and stop for views along the way –> leave the park and head into Navajo territories, stopping along the way because, seriously, the Grand Canyon actually never ends –> visit some trading posts and see some beautiful Navajo jewelry –> see a sign for some ruins and decide it sounds cool, then ends up being a really beautiful road –> do a self-guided tour of incredible ruins –> more scenic driving –> head down to Phoenix and check into our hotel –> gym, pool, BBQ date night! –> head back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.
Monday: I fly out and Nate heads to his work event.
For us, the weekend wasn’t about where we could get the best fry bread (though: regrets), or where the best night life was. It was about the desert and red rocks and the open road. It was about the endless conversation as we drove mile after mile, and getting caught in the rain as we wandered the trails alongside the Grand Canyon. And, as so much of my life has shown me, the weekend was a reaffirmation that when we give our time over to the things that light us up — for me: a spontaneous weekend trip to somewhere new, having an adventure with one of the people I love most — that’s what life is all about.