Describing the sheer magnitude of the Grand Canyon is impossible, like attempting to convey the vividness of a dream. Photographs also fail to capture the startling giganticness of the landscape (especially amateur ones like mine). The Grand Canyon simply has to be experienced to be fully appreciated—you need to stand on the rim of this 277 mile-long canyon and peer down a mile at the blue snake of the Colorado River to feel your inevitable insignificance and smallness, but also the expansive hopefulness that accompanies witnessing such a truly magnificent sight.
This morning I attended a talk with Ranger Pat on the geology of the Grand Canyon and learned an enormous amount about its formation. Despite the landscape containing rocks up to 2 billion years old, the Canyon itself took shape only yesterday in geologic time: 5-7 million years ago.
After the talk I descended into the rainbow of colorful rock layers while hiking down into the Canyon on the South Kaibab Trail. Being afraid of heights, I had to cautiously creep toward the edge as I walked back to my hotel via the Rim Trail—a mile down is a long way to fall. And after a day of hiking I have earned my dinner tonight at the famed El Tovar!
Tomorrow I leave for Zion National Park, and I’ll return home to Yellowstone this weekend.