Well what can you say about the Grandest Canyon of them all?? Except WOW just WOW. Some of you may know that we visited the Grand Canyon with Mom and Jimmy in 1996. That was a magnificent trip where we rafted the Colorado River thru the canyon for a week. So we have been to the Grand Canyon, but beyond the quick helicopter ride out of the canyon we only saw it from the bottom up, which is a totally different experience.
Both of us were taken away by the beautifulness of the canyon from the top!!! It is absolutely breath taking.
There are a couple of things that need to be mentioned. First and foremost, RAILINGS are great. Do not go near the edge with out a railing. The views are not any better and one slip or slide and you’d be a goner!!! Below picture is not us, but is a good example of what not to do!!!
Another thing to notice is how flat the top is. As we approached the canyon driving north on highway 64 there is no indication that there will be a canyon. It is simply a desert landscape changing into a pine forest near the edge and all of a sudden, the world opens up into a vast, otherworldly canyon landscape. I really don’t understand how it happened, and apparently neither do the geologists. We spent about an hour in the geology museum reading the exhibits which did a pretty good job of explaining until the last one states “we still don’t really know!!!” Like how 1.2 billion years of rock formation are missing the “Great Unconformity.” Cambrian rock which is 525 million years old lays directly on top of 1.8-billion-year-old Vishnu Schist. Millions, billions etc are completely unfathomable to me…
Common belief is that the Colorado river (and tributaries) cut the canyon over the last 5-6 million years. That is what all the information I read in the park indicated, but I have to mention that our National Geographic Guide to the National Parks added a layer to this theory that I had never heard before. The next two paragraphs are quoted from this reputable source.
“The amount of deep geologic time revealed by the Grand Canyon is staggering, but how old is the canyon itself? Powell and others figured on 70 million years, the Colorado River down cutting at the same rate that the Kaibab Plateau was rising – that is, until sediments at the western end of the canyon conclusively proved the Colorado River couldn’t be more that 6 million years old.
Latest studies using thermochronological data suggest that an eastward-flowing paleo-river carved most of the western part of the canyon 70 million years ago, while a different river cut through the eastern section 55 million years ago. The Colorado River then joined the canyons with sections it carved itself, finishing off the job.”
Again, I didn’t read this in the national parks exhibits, but I do consider National Geographic a knowledgeable source… So, who knows and really does it matter, either way it is a sight to behold!!!
As I mentioned above we rafted the canyon and believe me that is a very large river with mighty rapids!!! But from the top it appears pretty docile. Below are pictures of the river first zoomed in and the same spot zoomed out. With the grandeur of the canyon you might not even notice the river down there.
Sunrise at the canyon was a pretty awesome experience, pretty cold as well!!
WOW just WOW, guess I had a lot more words after all, you could fill a library with information and impressions, but I will let the pictures speak the rest of the story… But again I must say pictures do not do it justice.
Another great adventure!!! Peace Love and Justice for all.