Monday, June 16, 2008

Grand Canyon

The Spanish arrived here in 1540, led by Hopi Indian guides. The soldiers couldn't reach the floor of the canyon at the time -- I suspect the Hopi weren't inclined to lead them to what was a sacred spot for them -- so they gave up and went home. The next Spanish didn't come through for another 200 years.

Any more trips to the canyon floor are considered more or less routine. What will never be routine is the canyon view. I was there for a few days in May of 2000; aside from the immense beauty, what struck me was how different the canyon looked depending on what time of day you were there. In the morning the walls seemed to be streaked in shades of brown and brilliant red, while towards evening the red turned deeper, until it gave way to a royal purple with the day's gloaming. It was a joy to simply sit there on the canyon rim and watch what seemed like a slow-motion firework display emerge over a period of hours.

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