Day 3 // Holbrook, AZ to The Grand Canyon & Flagstaff, AZ

Since the sun rose at 5 a.m. today and every farmer in Peach and Crawford county decided to call Tom at 8 a.m. Georgia time, we got a VERY early start to our day. I will say, though, it’s easier to get out of bed when it looks like it’s noon outside when it’s actually 5:30 a.m. When we arrived at breakfast, the hotel owners had our plates set out for us and a state of Georgia place marker holding our spot. They did that for every family staying at the hotel. It kind of astonished me that they paid that much attention to detail. I tell you, these people out here are of another cut. We had a breakfast of bagels that were larger than our heads before waving goodbye to Holbrook, AZ.

Our first stop for the day (unless you count the Jackrabbit Trading Post – see photo below) was a few miles outside of Holbrook at Meteor City, six miles into the desert off of I-40. Why? Because who wouldn’t want to see a meteor impact site? The lady that gave us a tour of the crater loved space so much that she moved to the meteor site. She lives in the middle of the desert next to a crater. It takes all types doesn’t it? The crater was unbelievably big, but is actually considered small in the world of craters.

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Next, we stopped in Flagstaff to grab a few groceries and then left Route 66 to head north to the Grand Canyon. I forced Tom to make a quick stop by Bedrock City – a very bizarre, retro-replica of the town from The Flintstones. On a cheesy scale, Tom says it was a yabba-dabba-doozie. It truly was unbearably weird, even for me, and we ended up staying only a few minutes. So weird and deserted that it was creepy. I guess you can just classify that under one of those “things ya gotta do to say you’ve done it.” Tom pouted the whole time we were there, sorta like he does at Target or Hobby Lobby. It’s for sale for a competitive price of one million dollars incase anyone is interested.

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Finally, we reached the Grand Canyon. I don’t know if it was the altitude or the sheer enormity of it, but the Grand Canyon very literally took my breath away. Even Tom said “wow” when we got our first glimpse. Neither one of us had ever been there, which is odd considering how much Culverhouses love National Park visits. There’s just not much to say about the Grand Canyon without sounding cliché, but it truly was one of the most mesmerizing “things” I have ever seen. It takes a lot to get me to shut up and just be still, but that did it. We spent 6 hours simply driving around to different lookout spots and just sitting for a while to enjoy the view.

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Even living in the country like we do, things can feel rushed and crowded. Being out here is such a freeing feeling. You can drive miles and not meet a single car. You can see your destination 10 miles before you actually reach it. It’s hard to write about because it’s just one of those things words can’t explain. Tom and I were talking today about how mind-boggling the size of the Grand Canyon is – I made the comment “pictures just don’t do it justice.” I realized that’s kinda true about everything – it’s hard for photos to show just how amazing the “real” thing is. I also realized that’s what I spend my whole life trying to do – struggling to make photographs that somehow portray the beauty of what is in front of the lens.

But for now, I’m just grateful to experience the real thing. Anyway, here’s some more photos of things that are way more beautiful in person than they are on this silly little blog site.

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