Saturday, 18 October 2014

Letters From America: The Grand Canyon

Hello Everyone, 

The second day on the international trip, we visited the main attraction: The Grand Canyon. This was the one thing that I wanted to see out of my year abroad, especially as it was so close, just one state over. It would have been a sacrilege if I hadn't managed to go. But, go I did. And boy, it was worth it. I'm not entirely sure that my pictures fully capture the magnitude and majesty of this canyon. It is a massive hole in the ground. At some points, I could not see the bottom. It was like when you look through a micro-scope and see a so much packed into such a small place. Although, the Grand Canyon is much bigger, there were so many textures of ground packed into just what we could see. You can completely understand that the whole thing used to be underwater, it is so easy to imagine. You look down and realise just how small you and your problems are in comparison. It is a pretty freeing experience. 

I chose to forego the more difficult hike down into the Canyon in favour of the more picturesque rim trail. To hike completely down the canyon, it would take you 13 hours to get to the bottom. I don't want to know how long it takes to get back up. If I ever re-visit the canyon, I will try out the harder trail, but this time, I was happy just to wander round taking pictures as I pleased. The rim trail allowed you to see the land around the canyon, which was pretty much desert, and also see so many different sides and parts of the Canyon. The horizon surrounding the Canyon stumped me; how could something so huge and layered be surrounded by such a flat surface. It was a bit like the image of the first spoonful being taken out of a carton of ice cream, that's the sort of image I got. As a result, you will not see your first view of the canyon coming. It will take you by surprise because it almost appears out of no-where, this huge hole in the ground. And then, once you get closer, there is the adrenaline rush from trying to get as close to the edge as you can without falling off. You wish you could just jump off and fly across, but you know that gravity will not let that happen, so you just hang tight onto the rail and let yourself imagine what it would be like.

We also saw the Grand Canyon at sunset, which was beautiful. However, I have decided to split this day into two posts, as I have so many photos from during the hike and at sunset that they cannot all fit into one post. The Sunset at the Grand Canyon post will be posted tomorrow, with all the attention that it deserves.