The Stories Nature Writes – 2

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado

Last Dec. 23rd, my older son and his two youngest kids arranged their school vacation to show me the Grand Canyon. I’ve visited interesting places in other lands, but I had missed this American treasure and they wanted me to see it. They were right. It was awe-inspiring, and I agree with a friend who says everyone should see the Grand Canyon.

Native Americans have always known it was there. They called it “mountains lying down.” In September, 1540, thirteen Spanish soldiers from Coronado’s army were the first Europeans to see it while searching for seven rumored Cities of Gold. Six million visitors a year from all over the world suggest that the canyon is better than gold.

Considered one of the greatest natural wonders on earth, it is visible from outer space. Geologists say that ancient seas accumulated layers of sand as they eroded surrounding material. They believe the canyon formed as the Colorado River carved a path through the Colorado Plateau as it flowed down and out from the Rocky Mountains after their uplift. The canyon is 277 miles long at its greatest point, 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep.

Seeing such beauty and immense proportions impressed us. The sum total was greater than its individual parts of colorful rocks and cliffs with steep slopes and a rushing river at the bottom. We kept repeating terms like massive, spectacular, breathtaking, and divine design with awe in our voices. We spent less than one full day there, but we’ll never forget it. 

Along with my photos of multi-colored canyon walls and cliffs, I remember the expressions on my grandchildren’s faces as they first saw each thing. Our new shared experience tied us more closely together and we still talk about it during phone calls since then.

Where have you traveled and what have you seen that has impacted you and/or your family greatly? How do you react? (Sing? Dance? Shout?)

What favorite place do you visit that always makes you want to come back?

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