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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

The Grand Canyon

By Sep 13th 2010 No Comments »

The Grand Canyon is one of America’s oldest national parks and is well-named for its most prominent feature.  Saying the canyon is grand may be an understatement. In fact, they say you would have to be dozens of miles above the earth in order to see the Grand Canyon in its entirety, from end to end.  The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide.  Almost two billion years of the Earth’s geological history is exposed within the canyon, which has been carved by out by the Colorado River over a 17 million year time span.

Our time at the Grand Canyon was allocated evenly between the North Rim and South Rim.  Typically, traveler’s experiences differ depending on the rim they are visiting, so by visiting both locations we were able to experience both landscapes.  The South Rim and North Rim are divided by a four hour drive, with the only ways to cross the canyon via the Hoover Dam in Las Vegas or by crossing the Colorado in Page, AZ in the East.

Our first night was spent at the South Rim. After arriving at our campground we headed to the Rim Trail, both excited to get our first glimpse of the massive canyon that stretched out in front of us.  It’s safe to say that we were not disappointed.  The Rim Trail is a flat and paved trail which winds along the South Rim of the canyon.  It’s wheel-chair accessible and deemed one of the best introductory walks to the Canyon.  We walked a few miles along the trail, taking in the astounding scenery that presented itself to us, baffled by the massive qualities it possesses.

Later that evening, we stretched out at our own spot along the edge of the canyon, ready and waiting to watch the sunset.  As the sun set below the South Rim, the gaping canyon slowly turned hues of orange, pink and finally, grey.  Shadows were cast along the floor of the canyon, somehow making it look even more colossal than before.

The next morning we woke early to watch the sun rise. We joined two other couples and again took our spot along the South Rim trail.  For forty-five minutes we watched a show of lights dance along the walls of the canyon, slowly bringing light and life to the Grand Canyon once more.

Later that morning we departed for the North Rim.  After a seemingly never-ending drive around the canyon, we finally made it to our next destination.  Upon first appearance, it’s obvious that the North Rim is much less travelled; however it possesses an unmatched natural beauty.

My experience with the Grand Canyon and both the North and South Rim was shaped by an uncomfortable sensation I harbored for the entirety of our visit.  Whether it’s because I have a fear of heights or because I read too many stories in the book ‘Over the Edge: Death In Grand Canyon’ I had an inexplicable discomfort while being there. Some even say that the Grand Canyon possesses this almost magic-like magnetic draw upon its visitors…whatever it was…I didn’t like it.

Regardless of how uncomfortable I felt at the Grand Canyon, I still had an amazing time and an unforgettable experience.  The Grand Canyon’s gigantic features are mesmerizing.  It’s history and age is simply astounding.  When you are standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon, overlooking millions and billions of years of nature’s sleepless work, you are looking at a masterpiece etched in stone, a treasure that’s as much yours as it is the next person’s. And that’s what makes it so beautiful.

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