Grand Canyon, Arizona / by Liesl Pfeffer

Grand Canyon, Arizona
November 2015

I felt really fortunate to see the Grand Canyon twice in one lifetime. The first time I came here was on a month-long road trip with my family, in 1991, when I was 12. We hired a minivan and the five of us packed in there every day and traced a path all over the western half of the United States. I remember stopping to eat picnic sandwiches in national forests, staying in Super 8 motels, singing along from the middle seat to cast recordings of Broadway musicals, talking to other kids in hot tubs and swimming pools at night, sucking the helium out of a deflating balloon we bought at Disneyland and speaking in high pitched chipmunk voices. I remember drinking Hershey's hot chocolate and eating Apple Jack cereal. I remember Metallica released Enter Sandman that month and my brother had it on repeat on his discman.

I remember when we were at the Grand Canyon, we couldn't believe that people were climbing out onto rocks that seemed to be balanced precariously on top of long columns of sandstone. My brother pretended to leap from the edge at one point and my little sister burst into tears because he really seemed to disappear from sight for a second.