The Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA is listed, rightfully so, as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. I spent time there during my early cycling days riding along it rims and hiking many of its trails. In fact the Grand Canyon was responsible for my getting the travel bug during my forties and becoming a bicycle tour guide.
After a long and tiring climb up the north rim on my fully loaded touring mountain bike, I pulled into a view point for rest and hydration. A short time afterwards a tour bus of senior citizens pulled into the same viewpoint turnabout. As the doors opened and tourists began to slowly step down from the bus, I heard the guide say to everyone over the PA system, “OK everyone. Remember to hold your partners hand and don’t get two close to the edge. You have ten minutes to look at the Grand Canyon before we have to get back on the bus.”
The seniors walked over to the railing and began taking photographs of the canyon. The canyon was bathed in a beautiful late evening sunset. One man set up his tripod and 35 mm Pentax for a group photo. This was before everyone had a digital camera on their phone. The photographer asked me to take a photo so he could be included which I did. The tour guide then hurried everyone back onto the bus and it pulled away. I remained for another hour or so before heading to camp.
On the ride down to my campsite I continued to take in the beauty of this natural wonder. I felt somewhat sorry for the tourists who only had a short viewing window. I made two life changing decisions during the ride down the rim. 1. I wanted to see more of the world, and 2. I wanted to see it under my own power before I got too old to do so. Ten minutes is never enough to witness the world’s beauty.