Bucket List Item

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by vampirefan on May 7, 2010

Ask many people to name things on their buck list (you know this list people have of things they want to see and do before they invariably "kick the bucket") and you will find visiting the Grand Canyon is on many of those lists. In Feb. of 2009 when this travel agent FAM came up on the FAM calendar, I quickly signed up for the October trip. Because like so many others, visiting the Grand Canyon was on my bucket list.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 4 to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep. It is divided into the North and South rims in Arizona. Since we only had a day and a half here, as you can guess we didn’t see the whole thing. We toured the South Rim so the information I am providing is for that rim only. You may be wondering about the glass walkway. That is on the North Rim some 240 miles away. You can believe if I was anywhere near the walkway, you would be seeing a review on that.

We know what erosion can do to an area, and erosion normally isn’t a good thing. Erosion was the reason the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in my home state had to be moved a few years ago. But erosion is what caused the Grand Canyon, and in this case was a good thing.

No one is exactly sure the true age of the Grand Canyon. Some guesstamate it may be as old as 2 billion years in the making. Though the formation of the canyon as we know it today began abound 17 million years ago when the Colorado River was established and started to wear down the rocks. The North Rim is some 1000 feet higher than the South Rim and the river runs down to the South Rim. The North Rim gets more rain and snow and access to the North Rim is limited in the winter months.

The first people to these lands were most likely the cave people. The first known inhabitants, of course were the Native tribes. Artifacts from around 12,000 years ago during the Paelo-Indian period have been discovered and there has been continuing inhabitation since then. The first Europeans to the area were from Spain lead by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas in 1540. In the mid to the late 1800’s there were a number of white Europeans who were among the first settles to arrive in the area at different parts of the canyon.

In 1903 President Teddy Roosevelt first visited the area. Teddy was well ahead of his time and was as we know a rugged outdoorsman and a conservationist. On November 28, 1906 he established the Grand Canyon Game Preserve. Unfortunately it would take many more years before it would become a national park. It would take until February 26, 1919 under President Woodrow Wilson before it was established as our 17th National Park thusly keeping it from becoming what Sedona is now.

Today some estimated 5 million visitors come to see this place from all over the world. The canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the finalists for the 7 Natural Wonders of the World which will be decided in 2011. It is from the same group that honored the New 7 Wonders of the World. Many of the buildings here are listed on the National Register of Historic Places the village is national landmark.

What is there to do in the park? . There are tons of things to do here. You can take helicopter tours from Vegas or Phoenix. You can just drive up to the overlooks and just peer out in the vast beauty. This makes it very accessible for all guests. You can take oodles of photographs or whip out your canvas and paint this beauty. You can hike. You can commune with nature and God. Check in with the Rangers and sign up for one of their activities. For thrill seekers, try a rafting trip. Bring your bikes and pedal around. If you read my other journals, you know you can shop and eat here. Or do like the Brady’s and ride the mules here. But the best thing here is to watch the sun rise and set. It is nothing short of spectacular.

After checking in to our resort, Pam and I headed out to check out this beauty some more. We did some shopping and went down Bright Angel Trail for a bit. Were both scrap bookers so we were snapping away with our cameras. Since the Grand Canyon became a national park there have been over 600 deaths. Heck, it is easy to see why. As you wander down trails past rocks that have been here for millions of years or just wander around the rim, you can easily get distracted by what you are seeing. I constantly had to remind myself to stay focused and watch where I was going. I mean everywhere you look there is something to catch your eye. It is also easy to see why this place is up for consideration as one of the natural wonders of the world. Two seconds into this place your going "no wonder".

You also realize this is more than mere rocks, as I heard some high-heeled, gold digging, princess say. This is a place where you see God’s work at its finest. Things here change by the minute no matter where you go. You simply want to stop and drink it all up. It makes you slow down and just relax and enjoy. You stop and see how the colors change from minute to minute. You want to stay and see what is next but there are more places to see and explore. Each ones as spectacular as the next. It humbles you as you take in the vastness of this marvel of nature. This is a place everyone should have the privilege of seeing in person at least once.

website: www.nps.gov/grca

These "rocks" take on personal meaning for each person who stands in their presences. For me as a Christian, it is all the proof I need that God created this world. What a gift He gave us. And I made sure to say thanks many, many, times while here.

VERY highly recommended

Grand Canyon National Park
P.o. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona, 86023
(928) 638-7888


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