Really Big Show, Really Big

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End May 05, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It was early when we departed from Route 66, but the queues for the Grand Canyon were already stretching.  It was obvious we weren't the only ones here for a show, and it soon became clear why.
The climb from the lowland desert ushered a slow transition of scenery.  The soil softened, the plants grew and the animals more plentiful.  The air was crisp with the scent of pines when suddenly, the land parted. It was immense and unimaginable.  To the left, the gorge stretched. So too in the right.  The horizon was what should have been the next step in our journey, but was unreachable.  We walked along the precipice, mostly unaware of much else of the scenery.  All the variety and colour was dwarfed by the sheer presence of the canyon.  There was nothing else in this land.  It was hard to further conceptualise it, we tried following the crowds around the view points but the change was only subtle.  Below us, a stream trickled.  We soon realised this was the raging Colorado that had carved the canyon.  It was seven hundred feet wide.
Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer scale of this natural marvel, but once you arrive it becomes surreal.  There is nothing else in the view to compare this to, and so the true size and volume is somewhat diminished.  It is sad that we did not have time to follow a donkey troupe to the bottom as that would take two whole days, maybe next time.
I would not say the experience was disappointing, only that I did not fully comprehend it.  No wonder the pioneers continued to explore this land, it continually defies imagination.
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