Category Archives: United States

Chasing America – Grand Canyon Experience

At first, I thought Grand Canyon will remain a dream…

Every travel I plan, I always make sure that I have at least one memorable experience planned, a remembrance that will surely last and can be told over and over again. I take all the time to research for uncommon destination or activity, some of them I did by myself and some with friends. Regardless, I made sure it gives me that happiness, that smile and that satisfaction. To name a few, I had my first ever solo mountain hiking in South Korea, skydiving in Australia, tried my first ever sashimi in Japan (I do not eat raw food, so this is a big deal for me), first ever bus group tour in the US – that includes a whole lot of memorable experience, my first ever glimpse of Grand Canyon.

At first, I thought Grand Canyon will remain a dream. Well, some dreams do come true if you put your heart to it and I got lucky to have one of my dreams came into reality. Before going to the US, I was still hesitant to include this on my itinerary, but I muster the courage to go alone. A road trip with strangers that led me to this amazing place, breathtaking is even an understatement!

The trip took roughly 2.5 hours from Las Vegas. We left the hotel early in the morning, to catch the sunrise on the way, stopped at Hoover Dam to get some photos and breakfast, passed by an outlet store and stayed a couple of hours and reached Grand Canyon (West Pacific Rim) just before noon.

I have seen photos of the Hoover Dam from #Instagram before and I thought, it would be good to see that place as well, but during this trip, I thought it will just be another wishful thinking. But, life can really surprise you anytime, right?

Hoover Dam is on the border of Nevada and Arizona.

Sunrise in Lake Mead, Hoover Dam (Nevada, 2016)
Hoover Dam (Nevada, 2016)
Hoover Dam (Nevada, 2016)
Hoover Dam (Nevada, 2016)
Boulder City (Nevada, 2016)

I kept looking at my watch the whole time as I cannot wait to reach Grand Canyon. I was thinking whether will it be worth the effort (who am I kidding???), or will it meet my expectation, all sorts of questions that made me more excited and anxious at the same time.

Then along the dusty road, I saw the SIGN and I knew we were almost there!

50 minutes more to Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon, 2016)
Entrance to the West Rim, Grand Canyon

The trip was definitely worth it! The view is stunning, exquisite and I was speechless. Whenever I am in a place where I cannot find the right words to define the beauty, I was totally dazed and in awe!

Grand Canyon West 2016

The group chose West Pacific Rim over the South (they call in the “true” Grand Canyon) due to its close proximity to Las Vegas. Nevertheless, the view is majestic!

Although this side of the canyon is not part of the Grand Canyon National Park, it is still, Grand Canyon!

Grand Canyon West is open to the public from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily from October through March, and from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm daily from April through September. It is open every day of the year including all major holidays. (http://www.grandcanyon.net/west-rim)

Navigating is no problem, you can go from one point to another via the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus provided in the park. There are so many things to do in the park, but I only focused on 2 destinations – Eagle and Guano Point.

Wherever I looked, the view gave me chills and happiness inside which I cannot explain. I am always fond of nature, and I must say I got even teary-eyed because of the overwhelming feeling of being so blessed to ever witness such an amazing and miraculous creation.

Eagle Point

This place is called Eagle Point because the formation of the rocks look like an eagle spreading its wings.  Can you spot the eagle?

Me and the rock formed as an eagle spreading its wings!
An Eagle spreading its wings (Eagle Point, Grand Canyon West 2016

There were also replicas of the Native American – Hualapai Village, where you can go and see inside each “teepee”.

Cliff formed at Eagle Point
Photo from http://gatetoadventures.com/
Skywalk at Grand Canyon West Rim Credit: Photo from http://gatetoadventures.com/

After walking for a couple of hours, I headed to the next destination.

Guano Point

Hike all the way up to see the stunning panoramic view of the Grand Canyon. This is by far the most majestic view I have ever seen. I know there are others, but this is my first time to see such an amazing rock formation and unending scenery of cliffs eroded by time.

Credit: Photo from http://absolutewanderlust.com
Guano Point (Grand Canyon West, 2016)

There is also another stop at Hualapai Ranch but I did not go anymore.

This is totally worth the effort, the bumpy and dusty ride along the Nevada and Arizona stretch. I am grateful for this opportunity and for God who created such an amazing scenery, it fits its name, it is indeed, GRAND!

Have you been to Grand Canyon? How was your experience?


It always surprises me how life unravel itself. The things I least expect can give the purest happiness that surely is treasured for as long as I live…

XOXO

Jhes

Chasing America – Los Angeles, California

“Drop everything now
Meet me in the pouring rain
Kiss me on the sidewalk
Take away the pain
‘Cause I see, sparks fly, whenever you smile…”

Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift

This song will always remind me of Los Angeles, the city where dreams can actually come true. There was that spark that hit me. Maybe because of the California sunset or the Hollywood sign, or meeting with my good friends or just because it’s California, as simple as that.

The famous HOLLYWOOD sign (Los Angeles, California)

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Chasing America – San Francisco, California

California!

Blue sky, cool and breezy weather, stunning scenery of sunset and mountain ranges, and contrasting city vibe – made this trip interesting, memorable and a dream come true.

When I was younger, I have always thought of traveling but never imagined that this time will come. Traveling made me realize that I am living an extraordinary life. Not everybody has the chance to see the beauty of life and how amazing our world as I see it now. Slowly, I am realizing hidden dreams, to discover how amazing the world is and to live life to the fullest.

Continue reading Chasing America – San Francisco, California