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Don't Take My Word For It

by Crystal Coons
Feb 2, 2003

I tried to think of a clever way to describe the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon(gra'nd KA'N-yu'n)

Located entirely in northern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim.

. I sat at the computer, and stared. I'm starting to think that there is no way to really describe it but to see it yourself. Before I made the trip myself, I heard the standard, "Words can't describe it, you just need to go for yourself. Oh, and don't judge by the photos either... they don't do it justice." You will likely get this response from any tourist that sees the Canyon. I've decided, however, to take it upon myself to describe what the Canyon was for me.

After spending several days in the Sedona area, my love and I decided to go and see what the Canyon held for us. We headed up through Flagstaff, and over and up through the high desert, pointing and laughing at the playing deer and other wildlife so close to the interstate. It was getting late in the day as we pulled up to the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon(gra'nd KA'N-yu'n)

Located entirely in northern Arizona, the park encompasses 277 miles of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. One of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world, Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers to visitors on the rim.

National Park entrance. We stopped at the booth, and paid the ranger the twenty dollar entrance fee. I must take this second to remind you that the twenty dollar entrance fee was for a 7 day pass into the park. Had we had known, we would have spent more time there.

We drove for a while longer until we reached the signs that pointed us in either direction of the South Rim. We headed west, as it seemed the more popular location. I stared out the window, not really sure what to expect. I saw people walking on trails that headed out to a destination I couldn't see from my spot on the road. I reached my neck out the window, as far as it could go, and I caught a glimpse of pink and purple rocks. My Husband quickly parked, and grabbed our beloved digital camera, and we walked the trail that lead us to the most awesome thing I have ever experienced.

A rush of lightheadedness overcame me, similar to what I experienced when I saw Niagara Falls for the first time. But this was so much more than that. In front of me the land dropped. It dropped so far down that to see the Canyon floor was merely a wish. My eyes began to take in what my brain could only interpret as unreal. It was like an astounding painting that came from deep within an artists mind, an artist that was looking for an escape from reality. Once I had somewhat overcome the sensation of falling, I began to examine the Canyon closer. Using binoculars helped me to notice the smaller wonders that existed within the wonder in front of me. The Colorado River
Colorado River(col-o-RA'D-o RI'-ve'r)

The river, which over millions of years of erosion, formed the Grand Canyon.

looked like nothing more than a creek, from where I stood; and not far from the river did my eyes come across something I never expected to see. Houses. People. Built next to the river. I couldn't believe it.

I shouted to my Husband, who was busy taking photos to come and look through the binoculars. Once he was done, I went back to looking at the depth and formation of the Canyon. Plateau after plateau, they seemed to cascade into each other. With the sun now setting, the rocks seemed to come alive with shades of purple and pink, blue and green. It was like they were dancing under the sun. The haze began to thicken, and grab the colors from the sky. If I hadn't been standing there myself, I would never have believed the awe and wonder that came across me by just standing there. I felt so privileged to experience the sunset. The sky darkened, and with that, it seemed the Canyon went to sleep. Eerie, almost, the way things just seemed to stop whenever my eyes grazed the Canyon.

It puts things into perspective. No matter what happens tomorrow, or next week, or next year, this amazing natural wonder will still stand here. It will awaken with the sunrise, and sleep with the sunset. It will dance and sing with color, and will rest with darkness. There will be many more trips to the Canyon for me and my love. And everyone will be different. My Canyon and your Canyon will differ, but one thing will remain, it will be memorable, awesome, emotional, thought-provoking and inspiring.

But don't take my word for it -- This article doesn't do it justice.

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