Yesterday I made the reservation for the Grand Canyon Railway. Over the phone, because of the one-way ticket. The web site sells round-trip tickets, that's all. Biking from Williams and riding the train back is not the norm.
The woman on the other end says "Southbound or northbound?" in a drawl I can't quite place. South Rim to Williams, I tell her, guessing northbound. She corrects me, says "that's southbound", and I'm laughing at myself. The kind of thing I would never get wrong here at home. But the idea is to go somewhere else. Somewhere unfamiliar.
I wonder which way the wind blows.
Once, on the way back from Dallas, we flew over it and I was one of the lucky ones on the side of the plane with the view. It is long, unbelievably long. I just stared, which is what a lot of people do. After all, there isn't much else at the South Rim - just a view. A gaping, epic view.
The National Parks Service says: "A powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size; 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep."
From the plane I could see length but not depth. Just the cut in the earth, and a long shadow that runs the length of it.
I ask if there's food there, thinking of the ride from Williams and of my stomach. She says there's food at Maswik Lodge. This appears to be a cafeteria in a basic hotel. Good enough.
I remember to say that I'll have a bike, so there needs to be room for it on that particular train (or no go). No problem - apparently they put bikes UNDER the train cars. Gotta see that...
Don't know what else to ask. That's the thing about new stuff - you have to plunge in.