Sunday, September 11, 2005

Grand Canyon

Oftentimes, my complaint is that the USA tourism department makes much ado about nothing. 'The Lonely Cypress' on the 17-mile drive is a case in point. I mean, hullo, that tree is just another cypress tree. No matter that that a wonderful yarn about how it has been standing lonely for 200 years and blah blah has been spun about it. It still is a cypress tree, period. Yet, the tree is the mascot and the USP of the 17-mile drive. And every year, hordes of tourists stare goggle-eyed at the tree and take pictures as souvenirs. I guess this is what good marketing is all about.

Recently, when I told people that I was going to visit the Grand Canyon, I heard many accounts of how wonderful it was. I was wondering if it was just yet another case of hype disproportionate to reality. Of course, since childhood, I have seen magnificent pictures of the canyon and seen great videos about it. And then it has also been one of my childhood dreams to visit it. I was pretty excited about turning the dream to reality. Yet, I was a bit apprehensive that the Grand Canyon was just another good marketing stunt. That is, until I actually stepped onto the rim of the Grand Canyon. The view just took my breath away. The canyon was simply magnificent. The rocks looked like they had been carved by a divine hand. As far as the eye could see, the canyon stretched away. And all at once I realized what a colleague meant when she said that standing at the rim is a humbling experience. Nature is the greatest power on earth.

I wish I could have got more time to spend in the canyon. But a couple of hours was all that I had to spend on the rim. Now I am thinking that I should make another trip to the canyon, to go camping and hiking there, to explore and discover its wonders as much as I can. Sometimes marketing does fall far short of reality!

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