I traveled to Arizona on assignment. My expenses, minus your typical out of pocket costs — snacks, fuel, that Negro Modelo I had with my enchiladas, the enchiladas etc. — were paid for by Arizona Tourism.
It’s easy to get all snarky about how “This place is ruined by all the tourists.” There are crowds, that’s true. But they’re not impossible to avoid, plus, there is something so delightful in being surrounded by people who are almost universally made better by wonder. It’s like everyone is saying, “We are in this place, this great temple of nature, let’s grab this moment because we are going to want it forever.”
I project, of course, it’s my way. But I loved watching the repeated theater of friends and family posing each other in front of the Grand Canyon which hangs from the sky like a great matte painting that doesn’t even look real.