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27 August 2018 / leggypeggy

Grand Canyon really is grand

Grand CanyonGrand CanyonGrand CanyonHave you been hanging out for us to reach the Grand Canyon? I guess I was too. Even though I grew up in the USA, I’d never been there. Poor John had had only a fleeting stop in the early 1970s when he travelled across the USA by bus.

So finally reaching the famous location in Arizona was a huge treat for both of us. We had two half days to explore, including an option for a helicopter ride (more about that amazing experience in another post).

Grand Canyon

Thousands of canyons

Colorado River, Grand Canyon

A glimpse of the Colorado River

I was intrigued to read that the canyon is a composite of countless gorges. In 1895, John Wesley Powell wrote that, ‘In the Grand Canyon there are thousands of gorges like that below Niagara Falls, and there are a thousand Yosemites. Yet all these canyons combine to form one grand canyon, the most sublime spectacle on earth.’

Wow, he got that right.

I never managed to get a sunset or sunrise pic like the one I used to introduce this trip. You can see that here. But I did manage to get a lot of great pics and learned a lot about the canyon itself (tourist information centres are wonderful places).

Colorado River, Grand CanyonGrand Canyon

On our first day at the canyon, Poor John headed to the South Kaibab Trail and hiked as far as the Ooh Aah Point—a spot about one mile down the trail that offers a dramatic panoramic view of the eastern canyon. Sorry no photos from there. He doesn’t carry a camera or a phone! But he says the view is amazing.

Getting to the Ooh Aah Point is not an especially strenuous hike—the trail gets much harder past that point—but it’s still a dangerous spot. Jordan, our guide/driver for the tour, said one of his colleagues saw a woman fall to her death from Ooh Aah.

My hip was still bothering me that first day (it’s completely recovered now), so I confined my adventures to seeing the sights on the rim.

Besides the fabulous views, I loved walking the Trail of Time, seeing some of the wildlife, and visiting the Yavapai Point Museum and the Kolb Studio.

Cremation pegmatite, 1.698 million years old

Cremation pegmatite, 1.698 million years old

Elves Chasm gneiss, Grand Canyon

Elves Chasm gneiss, 1.840 million years old

The Trail of Time is a 4.56 kilometre-long (2.83 mile) geologic timeline. Each metre signifies one million years of the Grand Canyon’s geologic history. Walking the trail gives you an appreciation for the magnitude of geologic time. Bronze markers mark your location in time; every tenth marker is labeled in millions of year! The trail is lined with a series of rocks and exhibits that explain how the canyon and its rock formed.

At 1.840 million years of age, the Elves Chasm Gneiss (pronounced nice) is the oldest rock on display. My favourites were the Cremation Pegmatite and Bright Angel Shale, but that might be because of their names (in everyday  life I’m Peggy Bright). They are 1.698 and 515 million years old, respectively.

I’m a sucker for wildlife and am quite content to stand for hours watching them. When I was there, squirrels were the most common critters on the rim, although there were a few deer and plenty of birds (the condors were too high up to photograph well, hence the pic of the info board).

There are plenty of signs warning people not to feed or approach the wildlife but, of course, there are always some knuckleheads who do. One fellow was nearly taken out by the deer standing near the info board, but I wasn’t quick enough to get a pic.

Grand Canyon

One view from the Yavapai Point Museum

Grand Canyon

Another view from the Yavapai Point Museum

Grand Canyon

Another view from the Yavapai Point Museum

Grand Canyon

Another view from the Yavapai Point Museum

The Yavapai Point Museum claims to have one of the most fabulous views in the world. It’s an honest claim. In the 1920s, some of the most respected scientists gathered at the park to choose the best representative view of the Grand Canyon’s geology. And that’s where the museum sits. Exhibits explain formation of the rock layers, the uplift of the Colorado Plateau and the carving of the Grand Canyon.

Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon

See the zigzag path. That’s part of the Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon

The Bright Angel Trail zigzagging down the middle

The Kolb Studio was built in 1904 by brothers, Ellsworth and Emery. The Kolbs made their living by photographing visitors walking down the Bright Angel Trail.

In 1911, the brothers filmed their journey down the Green and Colorado Rivers. They spent 101 days on the water (in two stints) and covered 1167 rivers miles from Green River Wyoming to Needles California. We saw a few clips of the movie, which Emery Kolb showed regularly in his studio until 1976, when he died at the age of 95.

Emery travelled the US to show the film and Ellsworth wrote an account the journey. His book, Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico, was published by MacMillan in 1914. Today the Kolb Studio is an art gallery and exhibition space.

I’m anxious to get this posted, so I’ll share some of the canyon’s amazing statistics in my next post on our flight over this remarkable scenery.

By the way, I’ve had a terrible time trying to choose pics to share. I took a couple of hundred shots at the Grand Canyon. Almost every single one deserves to be shared, but I had to show some restraint. Also, not all pics have captions.

Colorado River, Grand Canyon

The Colorado River snakes through the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

107 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. ksbeth / Aug 27 2018 10:55 pm

    it is an amazing place. great pictures –

    Liked by 2 people

  2. New England Nomad / Aug 27 2018 11:03 pm

    Beautiful shots!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Eliza Ayres / Aug 27 2018 11:15 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    Enjoying your trip, Peggy!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. beetleypete / Aug 27 2018 11:42 pm

    I have never been there, but no matter how many photos I have seen over the years, I am always amazed by the sheer wonder of it. I really liked the rocks you featured, Peggy, and to read of their mind-boggling age. As someone impressed by having a 300 year old tree in our garden, you can guess how overwhelmed I was to read of those really ancient rocks.
    That puts our tiny lives into real perspective.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 7:34 am

      Like you, I’ve always been amazed by photos of the Grand Canyon, but nothing really quite prepares you to see the vastness and variation in person. I loved the Trail of Time rock display. It opened in 2010. And I’m impressed by your 300-year-old tree, as well as the 60-year-old old quince tree in my back garden.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dfolstad58 / Aug 27 2018 11:42 pm

    Big thank you for your photos and report on trails at Grand Canyon. I visited the canyon when in Las Vegas and it is panoramic. It is dangerous as well as very high and nothing like a guard rail anywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 7:36 am

      You are most welcome. These days, there are a few guard rails (see the 7th pic down), but not many. It’s a good idea not to go too close to the edges.

      Like

  6. sidilbradipo1 / Aug 28 2018 12:39 am

    Stunning photos, breathtaking Canyon ❤
    Fascinating 😀
    Ciao
    Sid

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Almost Iowa / Aug 28 2018 12:46 am

    Beware of those ground squirrels; if you don’t feed them, they bite you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 7:37 am

      I’ve heard that before. Luckily someone else must have fed them because they didn’t have a go at me.

      Like

  8. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso / Aug 28 2018 1:11 am

    Amazing photos!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. derrickjknight / Aug 28 2018 1:16 am

    You have chosen well

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Gilda Baxter / Aug 28 2018 1:18 am

    It is an impressive place, you have some great pictures here. I have visited by helicopter and it was an amazing experience. I would like to visit again and spend more time hiking and exploring in the area. Great post:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 8:55 am

      The helicopter rides are incredible, but so are the walks on the rim. I didn’t get down into the canyon this time. Maybe someday for both of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. dreamweaver333 / Aug 28 2018 3:39 am

    Reblogged this on dreamweaver333.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Osyth / Aug 28 2018 5:03 am

    A fascinating read, as ever, peppered with brilliant photos. And of course I was hanging out for this but I hang out for all of your posts …. always worth a pause in my day! Thanks, Peggy 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Zambian Lady / Aug 28 2018 5:17 am

    Wow, looks amazing and breathtaking! I had booked my flight to visit the Grand Canyon and LA last February, but life got in the way and I could not travel. I hope to also enjoy those views one day. Thanks for taking us on your trip. PS/.. I believe Poor John that the views at Ooh Aah are great. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 8:57 am

      Oh dear, frustrating when life gets in the way of other plans. Hope you get there one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. lexklein / Aug 28 2018 6:55 am

    You got some great photos, Peggy. I’ve only been there once, but despite its being a crisp, clear day, my photos did not come close to catching the variegated colors and layers that my eyes saw. It really is grand! I’m a sucker for the animals, too – very cute!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 8:58 am

      Thanks. I’ve never regretted buying quite an expensive lens, even if it is on the heavy side. Impossible to resist the critter pics.

      Like

  15. janesmudgeegarden / Aug 28 2018 7:33 am

    Great photos of a truly amazing landmark: I’m sure you would never tire of looking at it. It was very interesting to learn more about it in your post. I think walking that Bright Angel Trail would be quite an undertaking especially if you had to walk back up. Only for the very fit!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 8:59 am

      You’ve got that right—the walk back up would be the bigger challenge. But I’m sure it’s breathtaking.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. lmo58 / Aug 28 2018 8:26 am

    As always Peggy this is a really impressive description of your travels. Well-written commentary and amazing photos bring the Grand Canyon to life for those of us who will probably never get there. Thank you..

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 9:00 am

      You are most welcome, Louise. It’s taken me ages to get this done. I’m hoping the helicopter post will come together more quickly.

      Like

  17. Frank Prem / Aug 28 2018 8:47 am

    Wow. Such a journey you’re having, Peggy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 9:01 am

      Thanks Frank. We need to make it to Beechworth one of these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Frank Prem / Aug 28 2018 9:13 am

        A pretty place, but I’m not sure it compares. The pub choir is good, of course…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Frank Prem / Aug 28 2018 9:15 am

        Just noticed my exclamation (previously) was ‘woe!’. was meant to be ‘Wow!’

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 9:16 am

        I knew what you meant and I can fix it. 🙂

        Like

  18. almeidadepaulo / Aug 28 2018 9:17 am

    Great pictures Peggy!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Sy S. / Aug 28 2018 9:33 am

    Hello Bright LPeggy.,

    I have been to the Grand Canyon but to many years ago… and can’t remember the scenery. So your blog is a wonderful one to view. The last photo is the best of the series you posted. The rocks are interesting as well, never saw these. Is that a squirrel sitting and begging for another tourist hand out…way to chunky.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 11:38 am

      Hi Sy, I don’t think the squirrel was begging; just posing. I’m glad you like the last pic. When possible, I try to start and end a post with personal favourites.

      Like

  20. gerard oosterman / Aug 28 2018 9:46 am

    Am curious how a particular outlook on the Grand Canyon was named Ooh Aah Point? Was it because of its sheer beauty? Perhaps many who came upon that spot for the first time exclaimed ‘Ooh Aah. Or was it the shout of the woman who fell to her sad death?

    On the other hand, you mentioned a sore hip that had recovered? Many a hiker would suffer pains and aches after a strenuous day’s hiking and go Ooh Aah while rubbing their painful limbs…

    The photos are fantastic, Peggy and let me now go Ooh Aah as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 11:39 am

      Oh Gerard, your comment made me laugh. I think the Ooh Aah name may have stemmed from all your suggestions.

      Like

  21. pvcann / Aug 28 2018 9:50 am

    The sheer magnitude of the canyon formation is stunning, and the types of formative rock amazing, a close look at earth’s generative process. The animals seem quite socialised.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 11:44 am

      The variation and age in rocks is incredible, which is especially evident in the Trail of Time. The animals seem socialised, but aren’t happy to be approached. The fellow who approached the deer by the visitor’s board nearly got kicked.

      Liked by 1 person

      • pvcann / Aug 28 2018 1:55 pm

        Well deer I say, better that way. Thanks for responding Peggy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 2:07 pm

        I always try to reply if I can.

        Like

  22. shawnthompsonart / Aug 28 2018 11:57 am

    wow it looks massive, you can even see the blue haze of the earth in the background which is why distant mountains always look blue. I also really like the photos with the pine trees in them!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 12:13 pm

      Great point about the blue haze. Our famous Blue Mountains are west of Sydney. I like the way the trees can frame the photo.

      Like

  23. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Aug 28 2018 12:12 pm

    The Grand Canyon is probably one of the most astonishing geological sites in the entire world – it’s spectacular from every angle at every season and time of day. The history of the Native Americans who lived there is fascinating. Current residents often have tough lives as they try to retain native culture in one of the most visited places in the country. Glad you are not reserved about using your camera – you’ll have so much to enjoy later. as you wander through your photos. Thanks for reminding folks that the wildlife there are not stuffed animals – for that they have to go to Build a Bear.

    And what’s this about you being raised in the USA?! I thought you were Aussie born and bred.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 12:39 pm

      The Grand Canyon is a geological wonder that has no equal. It’s frustrating to see how the lives of the current residents are so compromised by all the tourists.

      Hahaha, yes I was born in New Jersey and grew up in the Nebraska. But I have lived more of my life outside the USA than in, and more of my life in Australia than anywhere else.

      Like

      • Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Aug 28 2018 12:57 pm

        I was born in Philly but lived most of my elementary years in Trenton, NJ. Had no idea you and I were so close – except I’m quite a bit older. Australia is one of the places I’d most like to visit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Aug 28 2018 1:17 pm

        Shh-h-h-h-h! Don’t tell anyone I turn 70 next month. Oh, and I’m a Hackensack girl.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Aug 28 2018 12:14 pm

    Glad your hip is feeling better, Peggy.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Lynette d'Arty-Cross / Aug 28 2018 2:49 pm

    Beautiful photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Jolandi Steven / Aug 28 2018 3:40 pm

    I wonderful that you eventually made it there, Peggy. I guess some places are more elusive than others! What a magnificent landscape. I am not sure I will ever make it to the US, but if I do, this will be on that bucket list.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Emma Cownie / Aug 28 2018 7:20 pm

    I visited the Grand Canyon many years ago. I could not get over how absolutely massive it is – even as I was standing looking at it.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. paolsoren / Aug 28 2018 9:45 pm

    Wow!!!! There must have been an awful lot of water there to carve all that rock away. It is almost to hard to comprehend.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Mackenzie / Aug 29 2018 5:33 am

    I went to the grand canyon a couple years ago, and was amazed by it. It is absolutely awesome. You captured it beautifully!

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Norbert Haupt / Aug 29 2018 8:42 am

    Nice. I have hiked up and down many time when I was a much younger man! I need to go back soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 29 2018 9:28 am

      It’s a great place for hiking whether up and down, or just on the flat.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Alison and Don / Aug 29 2018 12:03 pm

    I remember being completely wowed by the Grand Canyon. It’s quite extraordinary isn’t it? So many wonderful shots Peggy of the endless vistas.
    Alison

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Travel Visa Australia / Aug 29 2018 12:37 pm

    Grand canyon reminds of the movie called “UP”. It is indeed beautiful. No doubt why this fascinating place is one of Arizona’s best.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 29 2018 9:16 pm

      Oh yes, the Grand Canyon is one of Arizona’s best. Now I need to check out the movie ‘UP’. Thanks for introducing it to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Anita / Aug 29 2018 10:15 pm

    Really great shots, thank you so much for sharing
    Kisses

    Liked by 2 people

  34. kkessler833 / Aug 30 2018 10:17 am

    Great post and pics! Never been there.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. tony / Aug 30 2018 11:03 am

    Another lovely article Peggy. The photos are also amazing. But, they just don’t do justice to the Grand Canyon. They show the perspective but you can’t take it in. I suspect you have to be there!

    A banal example, but from the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world), even when you are there, your eyes or brain won’t allow the perspective. The skyscrapers far below just look like small buildings.

    What a great adventure. I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and when I was much younger and into whitewater kayaking, I always wanted to kayak down the Colorado River. It was the pinnacle of whitewater adventure. It was doable then. Now, I’m too old and I think you have to book years ahead.

    all the best

    Tony
    http://breadtagsagas.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Aug 30 2018 12:20 pm

      Thanks Tony, I can recommend the trip we took. Grand American Adventures offers accommodated and camping versions of the trip. We camped. You’re right about being unable to take it all in—even if you’re there.

      Like

  36. Forestwood / Sep 1 2018 7:29 pm

    It is just so terribly vast, isn’t it? How on earth would you cross that thing on foot, if you had too…..

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Sheryl / Sep 2 2018 7:50 am

    The Grand Canyon sure is an amazing place.It is so huge and awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. jeanleesworld / Sep 3 2018 1:05 pm

    Ah, some day I’ll get there…my brother actually lives not too far from the Grand Canyon, so if we can ever take a family road trip thattaway, we may finally get to the canyon, too. 🙂 Gorgeous photos, as always! xxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Chris Riley / Sep 4 2018 9:05 am

    Your photos show a vastness to the canyon that I’ve not seen before in other photos. You chose well. Pleased to read your hip is no longer bothering you Peggy. Let’s hope it stays trouble free.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 4 2018 9:16 am

      Thanks Chris. I’m putting together a post on our helicopter flight over the canyon. Hip still okay, and not wearing the shoes that I think triggered the pain.

      Like

  40. kunstkitchen / Sep 4 2018 1:01 pm

    The Grand Canyon is the only thing on my Bucket list. Thanks for the splendid photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. America On Coffee / Sep 7 2018 3:28 pm

    I have been wanting to make a trip to the Grands, after reading Star Signs by Linda Goodman. Still hoping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 8 2018 9:29 am

      It’s an amazing place to visit. Hope you can make it there soon.

      Like

  42. J.D. Riso / Sep 12 2018 6:00 am

    Magnificent photos once again. Too bad your hip was bothering you. I bet it was a beautiful hike. I just love Arizona in general, but especially the northern part.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Sep 12 2018 7:53 am

      Thanks so much. The hip is now fully recovered. Wish I could get there again soon.

      Like

  43. ortensia / Sep 17 2018 4:18 pm

    Grand Canyon is the first place in my bucket list since I can remember and now even more.thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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