Welcome to the Grand Canyon State!

The very first time I traveled across this state, as a teen with my parents, we stopped at the natural wonder only long enough to take a peek. We needed to look close to find the river far below the rim.

Fast forward more than a decade and I lived for a time in a suburb of Phoenix, the state capital. Desert living, even in an urban setting, was an adjustment. And while we did spot an occasional Roadrunner darting through the neighborhood — the Coyote behind him was invisible. Citrus and olive trees grew in the yards — beside the century plants and barrel cactus when going for a yard with light water usage.

Several years later I returned as a tourist. This time I had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Grand Canyon and the surrounding area for longer than one tiny peek. We also explored other features of North Central Arizona.


We paused for a photo opportunity at Montezuma’s Castle. (Don’t be fooled by the name. It is not a castle. And Montezuma never set foot here.)