Friday, September 14, 2007

Grand Canyon

Yep, it is still there. This was Sara’s third time visiting, my second and we still love it. Despite all the new things we have seen this summer, Grand Canyon remains near the top of our list. It is the perfect way to put things in perspective and realize how inconsequential we are on this giant rock. Humans have been around for about 100,000 years, it took the Colorado River 5 million years to carve the GC, the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old and the rock exposed at the bottom of the river is about 1.8 billion years old… the rock is so old that it was formed before the Earth’s atmosphere contained oxygen.

We spent Wednesday afternoon walking the Rim Trail, checking out some overlooks. We got some cocktails from the El Tovar Lodge and enjoyed the evening dangling our feet over the edge as the other tourists gasped. On Thursday morning we got up super early to avoid the danger of hiking in mid-day and hiked down into the Canyon via the South Kaibab trail. The South Kaibab offers supreme South Rim scenery and the chance to hike about halfway down into the canyon. The trail is about 6 miles roundtrip with 2500’ of elevation change which is not too bad normally, but the rising sun and the heat on the canyon floor made it quite strenuous. We managed to get far enough down to see the river from an intermediate ledge just past Skelton Point (named so because of the many mules who have met their demise by falling off the switch backs in the trail). We spent the remainder of the day relaxing around camp. Thursday evening was concluded with a ride out to Hopi point for a spectacular Grand Canyon sunset. Today (Friday) we are heading up to Zion National Park in Utah.

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