Last week, Entrepreneur and I actually took a trip….by ourselves….just the two of us. That’s awww-mazing in itself. Neither of us had seen the Grand Canyon so we booked a flight to Las Vegas and a small group tour to the south rim of the canyon.
And it didn’t disappoint.
Aside from the sheer beauty and grandeur of this wonder was the noticeable presence of those visiting not from our country. Our 12 passenger tour included four Americans, two Ukrainians, three East Indians, and two Asians. The makeup of the visitors at the canyon was not too much different. It seems we Americans don’t visit our own country’s amazing icons. We, instead, talk about going to see the sites of Europe and other parts of the world. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with those desires, Entrepreneur and I are focusing on a Tour of America while we are still able to travel together.
But, back to the grandeur of the canyon.
Words cannot really describe how spectacular this is to the naked eye. And, photos cannot really capture how vast an area it covers. Grand Canyon National Park is celebrating its Centennial this year. But, this geological marvel is obviously much older than that. Discovered in 1540, it’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is 227 miles long, one mile deep, 18 miles wide, and covers 1900 square miles of land.
We were warned by our tour driver…..repeatedly…….to stay away from the edge of the rim where there are no guardrails. Evidently, more than 40 people fall into the canyon each year taking selfies and looking down into the canyon. We walked the 2+ mile rim trail and this is as close to the edge as we dared to get.
The canyon has a way of putting everything into perspective. One feels very small and insignificant when looking out over such a phenomenal view. There are many theories of how the canyon was carved out of the earth and when this happened. The Colorado River looks like a stream on the canyon floor even though it’s 300 feet wide and 100 feet deep. I’m not going to debate whether evolutionary scientists or creationists (see the link for an alternative theory on the formation of the canyon) are correct in their assumptions. The canyon is an amazing testament to the destructive forces of wind, water and volcanic activity. Whether it took millions of years or much less to accomplish this doesn’t matter to me. I see the hand of the Creator in every square inch of it. However long it took, God used the forces of nature (which he created) to carve it out for nothing except our sheer pleasure of beholding its majesty. No one really knows for certain how, when or why it was created. When we drill down, it’s all theory.
It is much more than simply a hole in the Arizona landscape. From hour to hour, the canyon changes. Colors run the spectrum of the color wheel, and shadows shapeshift along its walls. Away from the tour groups, it’s eerily silent, yet shouts volumes. It appears motionless, yet erosion is actively working night and day over its surface. I believe it’s a natural wonder that is surely unparalleled by any other natural formation.
And here, in the middle of all the beauty and grandeur of the jagged edges of rock and stone, beauty of another variety can be found growing in a seemingly inhospitable environment. And, therein lies another lesson to be learned from the canyon.
If there is a point to being in the canyon, it is not to rush but to linger, suspended in a blue-and-amber haze of in-between-ness, for as long as one possibly can. To float, to drift, savoring the pulse of the river on its odyssey through the canyon, and above all, to postpone the unwelcome and distinctly unpleasant moment when one is forced to reemerge and reenter the world beyond the rim-that is the paramount goal.
Playing along with Awww Monday over at Comedy Plus.