Grand Canyon: A Trip Through Time and Space

Grand is an understatement when used to describe this impressive place. The sheer size of the canyon made all of the other sites we had seen so far look like a mere dust speck on a gnat’s wing. We peered at every ridge carved out by the mighty Colorado River and even with a clear view towards the horizon, we could not wrap our minds around the magnitude of this natural chasm. It is not until you have visited the Grand Canyon that you get a real sense of its intense power which draws visitors in with a tidal force too great to resist.

The Grand Canyon

The GRAND Canyon

 

Night Time Explorers

We drove straight down from Horseshoe Bend along US 89 into the park. By the time we arrived to Grand Canyon National Park the sun was ready for bed and presented us with the most spectacular array of colors it had left to display. As night fell we continued our drive through the entire park and were met with some unexpected surprises along the way. Out of nowhere an elk (the size of what seemed like a semi-truck to us) scampered across the hood of our tiny sedan. It was not the docile elk pictured below lazily eating its dinner but had I taken a picture of the one we had seen previously, I probably would not be here telling you this tale… Thankfully no one (and no animals) were harmed during the incident.

Driving through Grand Canyon at Dusk

Driving through Grand Canyon at Dusk

Large Elk near the road

Large Elk near the road

To calm our nerves, we stopped at an overlook at the end of the park to enjoy the starry night. The moon was intense illuminating the streaky clouds that lingered in the sky but the stars, ethereal, still managed to shimmer their way through it all.

Starry Night Sky at Grand Canyon

Starry night sky

 

A Voyage Through Time

A big draw for visitors to the Grand Canyon is a stroll along the Rim Trail. While here you can meditate on the mammoth stretch of geological time while gazing out at the multitude of colorful rocks similarly distended far past the horizon. Along this trail, you will come across the Trail of Time exhibit with every meter along your walk denoting one million years. You begin to compare the rocks’ timeline to our own and suddenly begin to feel a skosh minute in the grand scheme of things.

panorama of canyon midday

Panorama at midday

admiring Grand Canyon

Love this place!

Taking in the expansive views of Grand Canyon

Taking in the expansive views

Up close-- still so massive!

Up close — still so massive!

Pondering how long it would take to hike that...

Pondering how long it would take to hike that…

"Tiny" tree for comparison against the Grand Canyon

“Tiny” tree for comparison

Lovely views in the afternoon sun

Lovely Views

Hiking the Trail of Time

Hiking the Trail of Time

Hoping this doggie doesn't jump off the edge

Hoping this doggie doesn’t jump

As we walked our way back to the modern age we observed as the sun and sky collaborated to gift us with the most perfect symphony of colors. An ochre and tawny afterglow swirled above like taffy being pulled at a fair. Saffron speckled the rocks along the horizon injecting itself with even more intensity while the night fell and the plum panorama enveloped us. The great energy emitted by this Grand Canyon had taken us on a voyage through the senses, through time, and through the vast space it encompasses. We couldn’t help but be mesmerized by it all and were fortunate to have experienced it in person.

Colors starting to change the horizon

Colors beginning to transform the horizon

Sun beginning to set and gifting us with this incredible view

Sunset gifting us with this incredible view!

Sky gift

The sky’s gift

Panoramic vista of the Grand Canyon

Panoramic vista

I couldn't help but photograph this beautiful place

I couldn’t help but photograph this beautiful place

Great Grand Canyon Experience

Great Grand Canyon Experience

Tips

  • For a different kind of time warp be sure to visit nearby Williams along Route 66 for your fill of Classic Americana and kitschy memorabilia.
  • Visit Pete’s Gas Station Museum along the strip for a picture frozen in time.
  • It can be hard to find affordable accommodations near the park during high season. Try a stay in a cozy KOA cabin nearby. Ours was comfortable and complete with National Park Service’s centennial curtains!
Mural in Williams, AZ

Mural in Williams, AZ

Restaurant on Route 66

Restaurant on Route 66 in Williams

Classic Route 66 sign

Classic Route 66 sign

Pete's Gas Station Museum

Pete’s Gas Station Museum

vintage gas pump

Cool vintage pump

Classic car at the museum

Classic beauty

Manu enjoying breakfast at cafe 326

Manu enjoying breakfast

Our cozy KOA cabin

Our cozy KOA cabin

Complete with National Park centennial curtains!

Complete with National Park centennial curtains!