The Blue Ridge Parkway runs for 469 miles. Its northern extent begins in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and ends at Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina.
Our campsite was situated next to a short 3-mile hike to scenic outlook called The Window which we tackled on the first day. The following day we summited the highest point in the park, Emory Peak, which took us on an 11 mile hike to an elevation of 7,832 ft with an elevation gain of 2,400 ft.
Sedona, Arizona is known as many things. A natural paradise with telltale red rock formations; an outdoor recreation hub laden with hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails; a town known for its southwestern art markets; and finally, it is where spiritual energy has made a home in ethereal landmarks called vortexes.
A recent stop (on our trip of never ending stops) had me thinking about a unique kind of memory. One that I want to hold onto forever but fear will slip away. That is the memory of a feeling. Specifically in this case, the feeling of being free in the desert.
The Grand Canyon ended up nestling deep in our minds and while we were working on our pieces for the trip, I happened to read the latest issue of National Geographic. Fortuitous for it presented, like the most satisfying answer to a question, the article “Are We Losing the Grand Canyon?” by Kevin Fedarko.
Nature nailed it. The Grand Canyon is not just a beautiful view; the canyon entices and tempts. In the Grand Canyon our limits of human sight are tested; look deeper and further. This may lead you to want to feel each layer below your feet; to get down to the roots…to the river; to walk the entire length; to see what lies in the shadows; to know what you are capable of.
For our visit to the Grand Canyon we decided to take on the two faces of the North and South Rims. Given the expanse of the canyon (277 miles long by up to 18 miles wide) we decided we needed several days and a break in between rims which would land us in Page, Arizona.