It all started in my living room when I was a young child. l spent endless hours looking through the pages of our set of encyclopedias. I was mesmerized by all the gorgeous pictures of nature, rock formations, and beautiful scenery the books held. Then later I watched a series of documentaries about the history of the US National Parks. Of the many parks they featured, the Grand Canyon was at the top of my bucket list. So, you can imagine my excitement when my dream came true thanks to ATKG’s Bucket List program.
The levels of excitement I felt as my family and I set-off on our adventure was like I was a child visiting Disneyland for the first time. Every moment of our experience was memorable. We flew into Phoenix and then drove to Flagstaff. The changing scenery along the way was stunning. The view slowly evolved the further we got from Phoenix. Shifting from the dark color tones found in the dessert to vivid shades of green. Flagstaff was perfectly positioned to serve as our central location. From there we drove to so many amazing places, including Lake Powell, Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Slot Secret Canyon, Grand Canyon South Rim, Cameron Post and Walnut National Monument.
Each daily adventure included about a five-hour drive and an early start to the day to ensure we were on time for the tours. But we didn’t mind because the drives were delightful and gave us a chance for quality family time. As we headed out, we watched the sunrise and the landscape change from green to red, from tall trees to mountains, and from large estates to RVs. As for seeing each gorgeous park in person verses the pages of an encyclopedia, the books captured my curiosity, but the actual parks captured my heart.
My family and I are so thankful to ATKG for making this amazing family adventure possible. It is a memory we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
Samanta Guerra is a Senior Manager and Certified Public Accountant. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Since then, she has worked in a variety of industries including restaurants, real estate and construction, and international tax.