Below is a photo of a plaque hung on an overhanging roof pillar just outside of the Hermit’s Rest gift shop and snack bar. It says a lot about the feelings that fill me every visit to the Grand Canyon. Although you won’t likely hear much in the way of a song vocally from me standing at the edge of an overlook at the Grand Canyon, the heart can’t help but react in praise to a part of creation that so fills it with awe.
The horizon in these photos taken from the south rim of the canyon is the north rim which is 10 miles or so away. There are places the canyon exceeds 1 mile deep. If you look closely you can see the Colorado River far below in the photo above.
It’s been 24 years since I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time. There have been numerous return visits since then. It might be surprising, but the Canyon inspires awe more with each visit. We arrived at the Park about 7:00 AM after the drive from Sedona and a quick stop for an Egg McMuffin at McDonalds. We found a parking space in the El Tovar Lodge lot and walked down to the beginning of the Hermits Loop shuttle route. The shuttle stops at 9 overlooks in its 7 mile ride up Hermits Road to Hermits Rest. It gives views of the west end of the canyon in the Park and is my favorite way of seeing the Canyon at the South Rim.
We walked the 7/10 of a mile trail rather than ride the bus between the Powell and Hopi overlook stops on the Hermit’s Loop shuttle route. As we walked we came up on a man with a serious looking camera standing at the edge of the rim who was taking picture after picture rotating the big wide-angle lens between each one. He had a tripod strapped on his back and a bag with camera accessories over his shoulder. We walked by, and then stopped 30 yards up the trail where I was taking some pictures. He stopped as he came up the trail and said in a reverent and kind of hushed tone, “there’s shadows happening down there right now, aren’t there?” I just replied in a probably befuddled sounding way, “yes, there are”. Darlene laughed at me as he walked on up the trail away from us knowing I didn’t have the faintest idea what he was talking about.
The Park at the South Rim sits at an elevation of about 7,000 ft. The vegetation is a mixture of Pinyon Pine, Cedar and Juniper with some Yuccas thrown in here and there – it’s beautiful. Speaking of Yuccas, have you ever seen a stalk this tall?
I’m already thinking about a return visit for 2019.