Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Oct. 7th - Sunday

Woke up at sunrise to get an early start to the day - love these early mornings.. it's so pretty, the roads are quite, and the air is still cool. The sense of adventure was back and I was excited to be seeing the Grand Canyon. We started with the National Geographic Visitor Centre and and Imax film and was enticed to consider a helicopter trip over the Canyon but then looked at the reality of a $1000 venture and decided a look from the South Rim would have to be enough for us. Finding camping in  the park was easy and then the first glimpses.. now very pumped after seeing the IMAX film! It was definitely something to see… it was, well, Grand! I'm not sure if the pictures will really grab the impact but it does sort of hit you, the vista before you.. sort of like a discovery.. even though there are hundreds of other people milling about. 

We went on a geology walk and learned about the billions of years in the making of the Grand Canyon. Liam was bored but I was hoping he was catching bits and pieces of the talk (the Park Ranger was really good and so made it interesting to listen) and I think Sean got most of it..but never sure. With him, it gets stored somewhere and we never know when or where he'll make the connection. But Eric and I learned a lot anyways. Found a good spot for the sunset along the eastern end of the park and got more photos (I"m not looking forward to all the photo editing I have ahead of me!). But it got incredibly cold when the sun went down.. it was so dramatic.. and the shorts and t-shirts the boys were wearing comfortably all day all of a sudden seemed grossly inadequate! I hadn't realized that the Grand Canyon is actually at altitude - on the Colorado Plateau and is actually at 7000ft/ 2000 meters so though we didn't see mountains.. we were in sub-alpine clime! We thought the Cougar caution signs along the south rim road was pretty cool.. hadn't seen that before. 

We thought we'd fit in one final talk at the end of the day, on the climate of the Canyon.. which put the boys fast to sleep fairly quickly!  Cold night, overtired kids… well the ending of the day was a bit rough! But the stars!!! So intensely clear and bright. 

can't resist the animal photos

Great hike/talk about the geology of the Grand Canyon...
DUDE theory (Deposition, Uplift, Downcutting, Erosion)

There was a controlled burn in the area so it was hazy

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