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The Grand Canyon is...grand

This year I did not find the time to go on any extended camping trips, but I did have the pleasure of spending some time at the Grand Canyon. We spent 2 nights at the North Rim and 2 nights at the South Rim. I had planned to hike Rim to Rim, but had a cold, which hindered my breathing and my hiking capabilities.

I spent much time staring into the canyon while we were at the North Rim, unable to comprehend the scale of this landscape. I knew that it was beautiful. I knew that it was big. I knew that it was old. The question was; how big? how old? No matter how much I looked at it, I couldn't quite grasp anything about it. Usually, when I am faced with something this extraordinarily gorgeous, I feel something. Usually I cry. Usually I am speechless.

As our group's hikers traversed the 25ish miles across the canyon, I rode in a car with the non-hikers for hours. The drive is beautiful and mind-blowing in its own right. Once we reached the South Rim, we waited for our hikers to get to the trailhead. The next day, we walked along the rim trail. Constantly at the edge, I looked over in awe and amazement, but still could not understand just how big and old this place is.

Finally, I was able to look down and see the trail. All of a sudden, I was struck by the sheer scale of the thing and felt all the emotions I had been missing.

Still, looking back at photos, it is difficult to explain how it feels to stand at the edge of this great place, thinking about the eons it took to form and the natural elements that slowly carved away through the rock, constantly changing this landscape over more than a billion years. A BILLION!

Hopefully in the next year I'll be able to return to hike the trail and see the canyon from the bottom. Until then, more PNW adventures to come.

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