It's hard to look at pictures like this and not be enticed. It might be one of the most beautiful places in North America. In the words of John Wesley Powell, who made the first known passage through the Grand Canyon,
The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features... The glories and beauties of form, color and sound unite in the Grand Canyon... It has infinite variety and no part is ever duplicated. Its colors, although many and complex at any instant, change with the ascending and declining sun.I got to thinking that maybe this would be my next adventure. If I take overseas journeys in even years and domestic trips in odd years, then maybe this will be my destination for 2013.
But then I think back to recent news about Arizona. This is a state that in 2011 passed a law restricting gay adoption. This on top of their racist immigration laws. And then, a few weeks ago, the governor, Jan Brewer, requested that the Supreme Court overturn a circuit court ruling "that allows state employees to keep their same-sex partners on their benefits, including health insurance."
I am torn. I do not want to spend money in a state that has such abhorrent policies. The city of Seattle passed an Arizona travel boycott in 2010, joining a range of other municipalities that have done the same, and that was just in response to the immigration law. The state's more recent actions have made me even more angry.
But what am I missing by cutting myself off from traveling there? Am I hurting myself by taking this destination out of the running? And should I take other states out of the running as well, states that have policies I find similarly offensive, states that repeatedly elect Republicans who are, in my opinion, destroying our nation? That would take Yellowstone out of the running as well. It would disqualify Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks in Utah. (I've already been to Arches.)
Well, there are still places on my list where I haven't been that are in blue and purple states: Yosemite, Key West, Cape Cod, and Santa Fe, to name a few. One trip I've been thinking about for a while is a car tour of Oregon that would include Bend, Sisters, Crater Lake, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Willamette Valley, and Cannon Beach. Maybe that'll be my 2013 getaway.