The Grand Canyon. Wow. It was everything anyone every told me it would be, it was just like any picture in the textbooks you see growing up, it was everything.
I arrived to the canyon in the early afternoon and just as I started along the path lining the south rim of the canyon, I noticed a very interesting shadow lurking in the rocks below.
It was a number three.
I asked God, "where's my two?" But soon realized I had it in my left hand (which was an awesome photo opportunity for this 23 lover).
The canyons were so massive, they almost all looked fake. In some places, the depth of the canyons made me dizzy!
At one point, I found a spot to myself and threw rocks as hard as I could over the edge, just to see how far down they would land.
They would fall so deeply, I didn't even have the pleasure of hearing the small rock meet its new home at the floor of the canyon.
I ended up being the last person on the Grand Canyon rim trail. I hiked until the sun set, and then I hiked a little further after that.
It was completely dark when I finally turned around. I had my flashlight and knife handy. Nothing was going to take me down.
I took the shuttle back to camp after getting halfway back to the village. It was the last shuttle of the night, so I lucked out on not having to travel too far in the cold.
I went to the campground where I had established my stay and suddenly, I didn't feel so well. I was alone in the pitch black woods and I was scared out of my mind.
I could hardly see my hand in front of my face... and you know what I decided to do? Get the hell out of there!
I couldn't camp alone! I was mad at myself for not being able to tough it out, but I just completed nearly six miles of trails at the GRAND FREAKING CANYON! I had accomplished enough for the day!
So I decided I would head to Vegas one night early.
One night early doesn't seem like it would be a big deal, but apparently on a weekend night in Vegas, it is a very big deal. I rolled into town right around midnight thinking surely out of all the hotels in this city, I could find something.
Famous last words.
Had it not been for a good friend of mine, who kept me company in the late hours of the night, I would have lost my sanity during the nearly three hours of calling every hotel and motel I passed (which was close to 100).
Rejection after rejection, "Im sorry ma'am, we're at 100 percent capacity tonight."
I was beginning to lose hope. I lost so much hope, I started coming to terms with the fact that I might have to pull an all-nighter in Vegas. Which normally sounds really glamorous, but I had just finished hiking and was the furtherest from glamour.
I drove up and down what felt like every road in Vegas. My friend even helped me make calls to hotels... I was up a creek without a paddle and in that moment of weakness I started to blame myself!
"Seriously, Erika?! You're such a baby! You couldn't camp one night and now look where you are!"
...and then, I saw the word, vacancy.
I turned into the Lucky Cuss Motel, faster than I have ever spun my car in its existence.
I would have never chosen to willingly reside in this place on any other night, but tonight I was desperate. I entered the smelly unkept room and instantly began to cry. I felt like such a failure.
I got my knife out and put it on my nightstand. I figured I would need it seeing as my door didn't even have a deadbolt.
I stayed in this room until I needed the police to get me out...
To be continued...