In 2006, my fairytale adventures truly took off. After spending 3 utterly enchanting months living and working in Italy, I came back to the U.S. But, the enchantment followed me home. My uncle Keith invited me to join him on his yearly retreat to Garland’s Lodge in Oak Creek Canyon, AZ. The rustic lodge with extravagant, home-cooked, five-course dinners was our base for exploring the nearby Red Rock State Park in Sedona, AZ.
But, before becoming deliciously fed and fattened at the lodge, of course Keith and I had to make a detour to see one of the most famous American wonders: the Grand Canyon. There is nothing that will prepare you for what you will encounter. After being on the road for hours, we finally entered the national park. But, all I could see was acre upon acre of pined forests. ‘Where is this so-called “Grand Canyon”?’ I wondered. And then, the Earth suddenly opens up before you, as if it’s been split by the hand of God. You stare into its depths with speechless wonder, glimpsing over 230 million years of creation through a chasm that took about 6 million years to form.
Keith and I woke up before the sun every morning so we could catch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon on camera. But, the first two mornings, misty cloud cover kept the colors of the morning awakening subdued. Pretty, but not spectacular. On our final morning, I rolled out of bed as the stars still shined overhead with the hope that this would be the morning for the photograph. As the sun broke over the the canyon though, I was largely disappointed. It wasn’t misty fog that veiled the sky that morning, but a thick wall of clouds. It seemed none of the days first rays would manage to reach the jagged peaks, crags and crevices of the dark, shadowy canyon.
Yet, just as I was turning away to give up, the sun pierced through a gap in the dark cloud barrier with insurmountable determination and flooded the canyon with one of the most spectacular sunrises I had yet to witness. I would venture to say its even one of the most most spectacular sunrises over the Grand Canyon… ever. But maybe that’s just my pride for this picture talking.