We woke up to the twittering of birds in a tree just outside our room in Lake Powell Resort. I made a cup of coffee and stepped outside onto the balcony. The sun was lighting up the hills and the air had a warm dryness to it. Today we would be visiting Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. The weather was perfect for the visit.
We left Grand Canyon early the next day en route to Monument Valley. This was the main attraction for me. I grew up watching Hollywood movies. I still remember dialogs and scenes from these epics; John Wayne galloping across the three iconic buttes in Stagecoach, Clint Eastwood climbing the Totem Pole in Eiger Sanction and the title song “Old Turkey Buzzard” in MacKenna’s Gold, as the buzzard effortlessly zooms over the valley floor “waiting for something down below to die”. These scenes and many more were filmed in Monument Valley. And I could not wait to see the place where these still vividly remembered movies were shot.
The Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and Monument Valley, where countless Wild West movies were shot—these and nearby Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park were on my bucket list for a long, long time. I had been itching to see them but the Corona virus had thrown a monkey wrench into the plans. But with the vaccine, the tide was turning. People were beginning to travel and lead at least a semblance of their normal lives. I was ready to go!
After our tour of the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed, we crossed over to the courthouse directly opposite. This once served as the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The setting was like any present day courtroom with one notable exception, the iron cage. What was that? What was it used for? I was curious to find out.
We have all been cooped up over a year with COVID-19. No travel, no flights to exotic destinations; mountains, beaches, forests or deserts. Staycation is fine but it has its limits. Now spring is here; the sun is brighter, air warmer and grass greener. I started feeling the itch of the travel bug. If I cannot travel far, how about somewhere close. Was there a place I had always dreamed of visiting but had never managed to? Yes. Independence Hall in Philadelphia. I will go see America’s birthplace. Time to turn pandemic related restrictions to our advantage!