Into The Grand Canyon Part I -> Chasing Impossibilities
“It’s never going to happen” I though to myself
I was standing on the rim of the Great Ditch and I realized right away that there was no way I could ever capture it. Here I was, the blogger, the photographer (or so I like to think of myself)….and I was stymied. This was just too vast, too enormous to portray in any real way. The depths went so deep they made me dizzy, the width so wide the far side was in a haze, and the colors were intense in some spots yet completely wiped out in others. I could barely comprehend it myself, and I was THERE.
To give you an idea of what I was up against here are four little facts;
- The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the only one exclusively within the US.
- It’s 277 miles (446 km) in length, up to 18 miles (29 km) across and over 1 mile (1.6 km) deep.
- It’s got so many layers of history that the rock found at the bottom (schist) is around 2 billion years old while the top (limestone) is a mere 230 million years old.
- It’s so big there are no roads that cross it, and the only way you can see it all is if you’re in outer space.
The fact that my little ant-form and puny lens perched at the tip of a mere foot of the vast rim couldn’t capture its grandiosity is bleedin’ obvious. NO-ONE can capture this place, except maybe NASA and even then you just can’t get the feel of the place without physically being here.
We’d made our reservations for South Rim of the Grand Canyon as far back as April. We knew this was where we wanted to spend our time after the crazy intensity of Balloon Fiesta, plus Paul’s dad had never been here so it seemed like the perfect fit. We weren’t entirely unprepared either. We’d visited the North Rim our very first year on the road so we already kinda knew what we were coming up against. Granted that time we only did a day-trip, and the mid-day light had been terrible (zero photo gems out of that visit), but it gave us a glimpse of the Great Chasm and a longing to come back.
Being here again was both fabulous, and utterly depressing (as a photographer). Not only was the shooting going to be a bear, but Grand Canyon was going through it wettest October EVER (a result of El Niño no doubt) and the forecast was showing 7 days of rain (and hail, and lightning) out of our forecasted 9 days here. I was going to have to rush out between storm clearings and hope (pray, beg) for reasonable light. Conditions couldn’t really be any worse.
But as those of you’ve who’ve followed the blog know I am as hard-headed as an old goat and when I see a challenge I attack it much like a raging bull in a rodeo ring. Besides the Grand Canyon isn’t ALL about photography (well for most normal people anyway) and there’s a ton more to the South Rim than just gawking at the Ditch. I was determined to discover those secrets.
I’d also, in my naivety thought I could cover our Grand Canyon sojourn in one single post. As I started working on it one became two, which became three which I guess in retrospect is only fitting. It would be rather Un-Grand of me to cover such a majestic place in a mere 1,000 words, would it not?
So, with 9 glorious days to explore the Chasm we set out to do it as much justice as we could. Over the next two posts I’ll give you an overview of those days including some amateur photo tips, what we got up to and our thoughts on the whole experience. Plus I’ll answer the age old question “North Rim or South?”. My answer may surprise you. Stay tuned….SPONSORED LINK:
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