VIDEO: The Grand Canyon, Frank Sinatra, and RVs

Posted In: Grand Canyon, National Parks, Video

I was once trying to talk a friend into taking a road trip with me. My friend was skeptical about the idea. “Suppose we go,” he said, “what will we actually do once we arrive?”

“Learn,” was my one-word reply. And I was serious.

The ultimate goal of our journeys is to learn — to learn about other places and peoples, as well as ourselves. You can’t really appreciate your own world until you have the benefit of seeing others.

Visiting other places provides context. It’s among the best learning opportunities you’ll ever have. It’s also a lot of fun.

“Alright Mr. Smarty Pants,” you may ask, “what have you learned during your crazy long, long honeymoon journey?”

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After spending months on the road in our RV, traveling over 15,000 miles in the process, I’m ready to draw a few conclusions. What this trip taught me, perhaps above any other lesson (yes, even above the importance of dump station etiquette), is that we Americans live in a spectacular country. The depth and breadth of natural wonder in this country is so immense, so vast, that one could spend a lifetime exploring it, and still leave massive sections untouched. It’s an embarrassment of riches, but in a good way.

The Grand Canyon is symbolic of this dilemma. Kristy and I visited the Canyon together on a beautiful summer day. Our eyes drank its natural beauty from the South Rim. We enjoyed a pleasant sunset, which was quickly followed by the most spectacular harvest moon we’d ever seen.

And then, before venturing too deep into the Canyon, we moved on to our next goal. We never hiked the Canyon crevasses, never rafted the Colorado River. We didn’t take a helicopter ride, or a burro ride. It felt a little like being presented an eight-course four-star meal, yet skipping out after the appetizer. I want to go back.

But that’s life in these wondrous United States. There’s so much to see and do, it’s just about impossible to see and do everything. But we can have fun trying. We can be thankful for the opportunity.

Whenever I leave a place while feeling I’d like to stay longer, I’m reminded of what Frank Sinatra used to say upon the conclusion of a concert. The audience would ALWAYS be clamoring for an encore. Yet sometimes Ol’ Blue Eyes wouldn’t give them one. His reasoning? “Always leave ‘em wanting more,” he said.

That sums up our time at the Grand Canyon. It left me wanting more.

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