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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07


Since we had limited time to spend at the Grand Canyon, we opted to take a Jeep tour yesterday morning. The Jeep picked us up at our inn. There were 2 other passengers on board, a married couple from Arkansas. We rolled out and picked up a dad and his 2 sons who were camping in their RV. They were from Texas. Our guide, Richard, had white hair under his ball cap. As we rolled towards the Grand Canyon. Richard let out a whoop and a battle cry of, “ADVENTURE!” A mantra he frequently repeated throughout the tour. Richard took us to several different vantage points from which we could view the Grand Canyon. The author Anne Lamott writes of 3 prayers: Help; Thanks and Wow. The Grand Canyon falls into Wow and Thanks. It’s awe inspiring to look at. At one point, I asked Richard, “Were you always an adventurer? Or did you once have a boring job like the rest of us?” “Always an adventurer.” Richard replied, adding that, at times, his wife reigned him in. He spoke of her in past tense, but always fondly. Richard was the kind of guy who I wanted to take out for coffee and get to know better. There was a lot of substance and depth to him. I think it’s rare to encounter those who dare follow the siren song of adventure. At one time, Richard had led mule rides into the canyon. He talked about how this job gave him him the opportunity to watch people step beyond their comfort zones and grow from that. “A lot of people get close to something uncomfortable and turn around.” Richard said. I wonder if Richard ever read anything by Brene Brown? Not that he’d need to - it seems he’s living it. Richard talked about how he witnessed people pressing through pain on the canyon trails and experienced “happy pain”. “Like giving birth.” Richard imagined. We returned to the Hoover Dam Lodge. For a place I figured would be incredibly cheesy, it was the nicest of the 3 hotels we stayed in during our trip. Not to say there wasn’t cheesiness. We went to their New Orleans themed bar/casino. They had slot machines and arcade games. The arcade games would reward and entice you with tickets that you could redeem and Andrea had her hearts set on Cubs themed, New Orleans styled beads. I’m happy to report we won these gems and had a few tokens left to redeem in exchange for prizes. “What are those?” Andrea asked pointing to a canister. “Golf tees.” The keeper of the prizes reported. “Oh! Yes! I’ll take a golf tee! We have a golf tournament at work!” I say excitedly, turning to Andrea to add, “I’ll give it to Bob.” Prize keeper smirks a bit and presents me with a small, naked, woman shaped golf tee. “Not HR appropriate.” Andrea says. And of course I send Bob a picture because it’s kind of hilarious in addition to being not HR appropriate. This morning, we take the long way to the airport so Andrea can see the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. I’ve seen the sign on my prior visit but this time, I learned that a woman, Betty Willis, designed it. As we rolled up to the sign today, a bride and groom were getting photographed by the sign. Adventure! 

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