I took two of my kids and my nephew to see Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk at the St. Louis Science Center Omnimax Theater this weekend. There are some places in this world that are just made to be featured on a wrap-around screen like that if you can't be there in person, and the Grand Canyon is one of those places.
I have been smitten with the Grand since I got my first awe-inspiring look at it years ago. Four years out of college, I made the decision to get out of my chosen profession of sports journalism. I planned a two-week trip spanning the continental U.S. and drove my trusty little beater Chevy truck for almost 4100 miles across swampland, plains, mountains and desert. And this was how I came to be driving up the road from Flagstaff completely unprepared for a hike in the high desert. Working for an outdoor retail company now, I realize just how lucky I was not to suffer a serious case of dehydration. But at the time, I was just exploring and my mind was not on water in my camera case. It was on the thin sliver of river running a mile below through the canyon.
And I'm not sure my mind has ever left that river.
Many of us have a "life list" or as the recent movie featured, a "bucket list." Well, paddling the Colorado River through the entire Grand Canyon has been on my list from that day. And I can say this after the movie this weekend: I think I may be closer to getting my family on the river than I have ever been in my life. The first words out of the kids' mouths to my wife and me after the movie were: "Can we go?"
Oh yes we can.
Now I'll be the first to concede that this might not be happening for a few years, but I can't help but get excited about this now. Thanks to this movie my family is getting excited about an adventure again. My kids are the ones pushing for an adventure now. I guess that means we have been successful in instilling a sense of wonder and a sense of exhilaration at being in some of the world's most gorgeous locales.
I can just picture it now: my family's faces as we hit a massive wave in the middle of Lava. I can't wait.
What's on your life list?