Friday, June 25, 2010

Not Just another Hole in the Ground

We leave Sedona early in the morning and head up Oak Creek Canyon toward Flagstaff before we turn west and then north to get up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  On the way we see the thin plumes of the Eagle Rock fire which has started the night before and will eventually destroy over 3400 acres.  We know starting the trip that the entire tri-state area is in red fire alert status due to dry air and high winds. 
This is the first picture I take from the south rim:
The view is massive and incredible.  It is hard to fathom how big it is even standing there looking at it.  All the videos I have watched do not prepare me for this 'up close and personal view'.  As we move along the rim, I look for something besides the rock to photograph and choose an old tree:

I am already thanking myself for purchasing the 4 GB photo chip for the camera.  We walk, ride the bus, and sweat.  It is in the 90's with a low expected of 32 the next morning.  I can't wait.  Tomorrow morning I will ride the Eco-star helicopter over the canyon, winds permitting.  Winds are above 30 miles per hour today, but expected to diminish overnight. 
Here she is:

What can I say to describe the experience of flying over the ponderosa pine and watching the land drop away at your feet.  If you have done this yourself, you know the feeling of awe that it inspires.  The turquoise water of the Little Colorado does not seem real.  It kinda has the color you see on one of those old paint-by-number sets.  We marvel at the Painted Desert and ooh-aah our way to the North Rim.

The show is over much too soon and we are back on solid ground.  Next is a stop at the Watchtower at Desert View, which is currently being renovated.  Now, see all the people in the fenced in look-out area?  And see all the people who have wandered over rails, in their flip-flops no less, to take pictures:               

Starting at the bottom of the Grand Staircase, our day will end up at Lake Powell.  Stay tuned.

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