Halfway to Yosemite, we decided to take a side trip to the Grand Canyon. In a word, the canyon is spectacular. We had both seen it on previous visits, but the effect was the same: overwhelming. We brought Baxter and Ranger along for the experience, and they quickly became “celebridogs.” Some Aussies even asked to be photographed with them.
We observed many things during our three-hour walk, but the thing that stood out was the utter lack of sound. The silence from the canyon, a product of its enormity, is quite pronounced. It’s the same lack of sound you experience after a huge snowfall, when every sound seems muffled by the sheer mass of snow.
We could have easily taken days to explore this natural wonder, but it wasn’t our ultimate destination. After all, how can anyone really absorb 2,000 years of geologic history? How is it possible to absorb views of a canyon 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and more than a mile deep? The Colorado River that carved the canyon almost 18 million years ago is now barely visible from the rim, but still blasts rapids that are distinguishable from miles away.
As with our previous visits to the canyon, we were amazed and delighted to hear the reaction of visitors who had come there from around the world. It is truly an American treasure. And we’re so thankful that great Americans, such as President Theodore Roosevelt, naturalist John Muir and National Parks director Stephen Mather made it possible for us to see the canyon today, and to enjoy its unspeakable splendor.