Grand Canyon, USA

Jim and I both loved our time at the Grand Canyon and rank it among the best sights/sites of our three-year world journey.

Grand Canyon Village, at the South Rim, has grown over the last century from a few tents to a large community providing every form of accommodation and amenity desired by the modern tourist.

As the day progressed – and the clouds along with it – the sweeping views over the canyon became more and more awesome.

Jim looks through a brass Site Locator, donated to the park in 1922.

The rock strata date back hundreds of millions to a couple of billion years ago.

Part of the Northern Rim, which receives far more precipitation than the Southern Rim, and, thus, is much more fertile

The confluence of the Little Colorado River and the Colorado River is in the Grand Canyon.

One of the many natural temple-like points of the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is far, far more stunning than the Bungles in western Australia, although there are small pockets of similarities.

Look closely at the central rock’s peak to see the battleship of the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is one of the gorgeous sites on earth that Jim thinks no one should photograph, since the photos can never do justice to the awesome sight. Still, awed by the majesty of the place, I photographed the 277-mile long canyon, which is one mile deep at the lowest point and 17 miles at the widest part.

17 November 2001 – Oh my goodness! Hard to contain my excitement and adoration of the Grand Canyon, one of the most spectacular sights/sites we have seen in the last 35 months! We woke at 7 a.m. to crisp, chilly weather (32F, 0C) and drove into town (we are staying on the canyon at El Tovar, the first hotel ever built here in 1905) to the airport and took a helicopter tour (50 minutes) over the canyon. Wow. I continually took photographs of the red, brown, gray and pink rock strata that date back two billion years; the youngest rock here is 250 million years old! Flying over we saw the massive depth (one mile), the confluence of the Little Colorado (turquoise in color) and the Colorado (muddy looking), the northern rim that receives much more precipitation so far more fertile, the southern rim that looks barren as desert, the massive peaks named after Indian gods (the first geographer who named them, back in the early 1800s, had a fascination with Asia and thought the peaks here resembled the temples there), the majestic colors and curvaceous formations at every swoop, and the countless trees in the park surrounding the 277-mile-long canyon. Surprisingly, we saw no animals in the wilderness area, covered with tall, thin evergreens; I'm told the park service recently reintroduced condors in the northern rim.

After the amazing flight over the canyon, Jim and I walked part of the south rim for several hours, stopped for an ice cream in Grand Canyon Village, and, while eating our cones, sat with a couple of photo-friendly ravens. The village is a modern affair, but began as a modest tent-colony meant for iron ore explorers. Developers soon realized tourism was more profitable than minerals and began building cabins and lookout points and offering mule rides into the canyon, a still-thriving tourist draw a century later. We stopped in the oldest curio shop, Verkamps, (opened in 1922 and still run by the founding family), where I bought an unusual, nine-stone silver ring, designed by Lynol Yellowhorse, a 39-year-old Native American (renowned for his jewelry described as "art"). No matter the hype of Lynol, I adore the ring and, every time I glance that way, I will remember the spectacular, stately Grand Canyon, where Jim and I enjoyed a utopian day.

Ride over Grand Canyon
  Grand Canyon (Paige)
  More Grand Canyon (Jim)
  Grand Canyon (Jim)