Apr 292010
 

Last week was National Park week, which meant free entry into many of them, including the Grand Canyon National Park. Since Jeff and I live less than three hours away from there, we made a day of it. We took sandwiches and spent the afternoon at the park.

Jeff and Linda-Ann at Grand Canyon

It’s been twenty-three years since I’ve visited it, which is ridiculous considering how close we live to it. And I love it’s magnificence, ruggedness, and expanse. A lot has changed since then, including lots more parking.

The last time I was there, I hiked the Bright Angel Trail six miles, and 3000 feet down to Plateau Point, where you can look 1300 feet straight down onto the Colorado River.

Bright Angel Trail

If you look near the center of the photograph above, you’ll see a squiggly line down the left flank of the mountain. That’s the top part of Bright Angel Trail, which leads down to Plateau Point.

In the center of the photograph below, on that flat plateau, you’ll see a line that dead-ends at the edge. That line is the trail to the edge, which is Plateau Point.

Plateau Point

I feel like that hike was my marathon, a huge accomplishment and peak experience in my life. It took me ten hours to make the round trip of twelve miles.

This past weekend, we visited Yavapai Point, and spent the afternoon strolling 1½ miles west towards Bright Angel Lodge, taking photographs as we went. It was a United Nations experience, as we heard Chinese, German, Russian, and French spoken by the people we passed.

Grand Canyon, from Yavapai Point towards West

Photographs can’t do the place justice. It’s just too big for photos to encompass. Jeff and I left just after sunset, which a glorious experience there. Shadows paint the rocks blue and violet, and the clouds glow pink. I certainly don’t plan on letting another couple of decades go by before standing on the edge of the Canyon, in awe of the view.

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