More Unexpected Experiences at the Grand Canyon

The IMAX at the vistor's center in the Grand Canyon.

The IMAX at the visitor’s center in the Grand Canyon.

There are things that should be done in order. Watching the first Game of Thrones episode before watching, like, the 10th. Eating fries before a burger. And seeing an IMAX show about the Grand Canyon before you see the Grand Canyon.


Cuz fries get soggy or cold.

And an IMAX film simply pales in comparison to the real thing. So, having seen the real thing, a movie, even a big screen movie, is kinda lame.

But that’s what we did after the Grand Canyon Tour. Our guide, Sean, told us that if we wanted to take a small hike, he had the perfect spot. We are not, however, big hikers and the thought of bringing The-Youngest to a spot that had 270 degrees of ways to fall off a cliff, we thought, yeah, no to that.

Plus, we were starving and so, while we waited for the next IMAX showing at the National Geographic Information Center, we decided not to go to any of the places recommended by the guide (due to time constraints) and instead ate at the Pizza Hut. It was awful. Just awful. But at least we had full bellies and were in time for the IMAX.

Now, even if I had seen the IMAX show before the actual Grand Canyon, I may have been disappointed. There were none of the going-over-a cliff-shots that make me queasy. None of the virtual near things coming right at you that make you swerve in the seat. No sense of speed or ear-shattering sound. It was mostly just shots of the canyon and a docu-drama about the dude who actually rafted down the river for the first time. John Wesley Powell.

Green screen or the real thing? A bit of haze in the distance made the Grand Canyon look made-up

Green screen or the real thing? A bit of haze in the distance made the Grand Canyon look made-up

Both The-Youngest and The-Prettiest-Girl-in-the-world thought the actual Grand Canyon seemed like a green screen picture. It made sense since it was a bit hazy in the distance, but I thought what a cool observation?

Afterwards, we bought our traditional souvenir t-shirts for the boys and then went to go to the car, only to have the most unexpected thing happen.

It rained. Thick heavy drops splashed on the ground. The air smelled of dust and wet juniper trees. Dark clouds loomed overhead, and as I looked at them, I wondered if we would get a thunderstorm as well?

But as we drove away, the rain disappeared. No matter. It made for an interesting moment. Something I would never have expected to see or experience.

Mexican Food at the Salsa Brava. Mmmm, good!

Mexican Food at the Salsa Brava. Mmmm, good!

As for dinner, just to be super annoying we phoned to change our reservation, AGAIN! They were super nice and fit us in earlier than we planned. Dinner at Salsa Brava wasn’t the amazing birthday dinner I’d dreamed about, planned for, but the food was delicious, the portions HUGE and The-Youngest even braved the Salsa bar (trying a tasty green chili one.)

Stuffed full, we retreated to the hotel to get to sleep early. We needed to get up early the next day and suffer through another 4-hour drive.

Sadly, not my picture of horizontal lightning, but this is what it looked like. Wow!

Sadly, not my picture of horizontal lightning, but this is what it looked like. Wow!

However, that storm, remember the one at the Grand Canyon, yeah, it caught up with us and split the sky with an incredible lightning show. Thunder peeled across the horizon and I got to see something I’ve never seen before. Horizontal lightning.

It was the perfect way to end a perfect day – another display of the power and beauty of nature.

Sleep be damned.


About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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