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The Grand Canyon
A vast expanse of mountains and valleys spread out before me as I looked out into the horizon, bathed in orange light from the setting sun. Cold winds blew across my face as I gazed down at the deep gorges in wonder. The Grand Canyon was truly a spectacle to behold. I had never been to a national park quite like it before.
My family stayed there for a few more minutes, watching night fall over the crevices before being driven inside by the biting cold. Even now, in the summer and here, at the bottom of the country, it was still freezing in the open. We were also all tired from a long day of driving. We headed back to our cabin; this could be continued tomorrow.
“Don’t get too close to the edge,” my father cautioned as we walked along a trail. It was the next day, and we had all decided to go on a hike. The path was precariously situated between a rock face and a sheer drop, with little in between. My father had been nervous throughout the entire hike, worried that someone would slip and fall. I was considerably less concerned, and I did not feel that being told again and again not to go near the edge would in any way boost my already high chance of survival.
Finally, we reached the end of the rocky trail: a flat stone at the very end of the ridge. The outcropping offered a splendid view of the canyon. The sight was much better than it had been the night before, unhampered as it now was by buildings and other signs of civilization. I could look at the layers of brown and grey stone and was barely able to see flat land anywhere.
Unfortunately, several other families were also looking at the view, so we decided to leave the crowded rock. The way back along the trail was much more difficult than the way coming down had been. We encountered several other people, and getting around them was a challenge. One group would have to press themselves against the rock wall while the others turned sideways and inched past. We always seemed to be the ones who had to go up against the wall, much to my displeasure.
The Grand Canyon had one more spectacle to add to the wonders it had already produced, and this had nothing to do with rock. That night, braving the chilling winds, we attended a star gazing program. Several local astronomers set up their large, powerful telescopes on the patio of the lodge and aimed them at distant galaxies and constellations. Many more stars were visible here than at home, so even the unaided viewing was spectacular. With the telescopes, however, distant colorful nebulas and galaxies invisible to the naked eye could be seen. I was quite interested in space at the time, so I had a wonderful time looking at all of them.
Finally, tired and cold, we trudged back to our cabin. Tomorrow we would have to leave this place, which none of us were eager to do. It was an amazing vacation, and one that is impossible to forget.
Article posted October 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM •
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