Imerman

How many of you have been to a place where pictures don’t do it justice? I recently went to two such places.

For much of last week, my wife, son and I were in Arizona. This was my second time in Arizona — my first was in 2007. My wife recently completed a bachelor’s degree from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, and we were there for her commencement ceremony.

Though we were only there for a few days, we packed a lot in, and we got to see the vast differences in scenery Arizona has to offer.

This time around, I was able to appreciate the breathtaking majesty of the landscape more than I did 14 years ago.

As you drive north out of Phoenix on Interstate 17, things look as you would imagine; crowded highways, bustling with cars and trucks going to and fro, with cacti lining the road, reminding you that you are in a desert setting.

Not long after, you begin to climb, ears popping, rapidly gaining elevation as you’re suddenly and seemingly transported into another world.

You leave the desert behind you, and you begin to enter a more mountainous area. Every few minutes it seems you see new signs, “Elevation 2,000;” “Elevation 3,000;” “Elevation 4,000.”

Suddenly, along the horizon, all you see are magnificent rock formations in the distance.

On our first full day in Arizona, we went to a little town called Sedona, which is almost right smack dab in the middle of the state. I have two aunts that live in the Phoenix area, who recommended that we see it.

As you come off of Interstate 17, you get onto Highway 179 as it winds into Sedona. By the way, I hope you like those European-style round-abouts ... because they’re everywhere there.

As you traverse Highway 179, however, you begin to see majestic red rock formations towering over the horizon. We would later find out these formations are aptly named: Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Coffee Pot Rock, Courthouse Butte, Snoopy Rock. As the sun begins to hit them from different angles, they seemingly glow red and orange.

We booked a tour in a panoramic bus before arriving so we could sit back and enjoy the splendor in comfort.

Our tour guide said historians believe Sedona was “ocean-front property” several millions of years ago when Pangaea existed. They believe that because of the differently colored parallel lines on the rock formations.

Two days later, we set out on Interstate 17 again, this time to go more north toward the Grand Canyon.

As we near the Grand Canyon, via Highway 64, we begin to notice a large temperature difference. Between Phoenix and northern Arizona, there is about a 30-degree difference. Good thing we brought our sweatshirts.

When my dad and I came to Arizona in 2007, we went to the Grand Canyon. It was breathtaking then, and it was breathtaking now ... and not just because it is at an elevation of around 7,100 feet.

When you get to a vantage point (there are many), for as far as the eye can see is a vast expanse, cut out by the Colorado River.

It is amazing to think the Grand Canyon spans approximately 1,450 miles.

As you walk along the rim trail, it never gets old to look at. It seems incomprehensible how such a natural beauty can exist in the United States.

No matter how much of the world you travel, suffice it to say, there will come a time when you come across something that pictures don’t do it justice.

For me, those two things exist in Arizona.

My wife and I have already said we need to go back. I don’t think it will ever get old, no matter how many times we go.

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