Monday, April 25, 2011


This place, just as its name suggests, is grand. Not just the canyon itself but everything else seems to be blown up to a larger scale. Visitors, junior rangers, the variety of programs, the pace of things, the community...etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The experience has been unique and will give me skills and experience that I have neverhad before.

One of my coworkers looked at me while clossing the visitor center on Saturday and said, "Well, you have survived Easter weekend." Apparently, as I learn later, this is the busiest time of the year. I would have thought Fourth of July. However, we have the same amount of people in July but more staff to deal with the masses. Just This was Saturday....morning meeting, visitor center, unexpected medical(woman passed out and vomitting)in front of the visitor to my mather point back to the visitor center...over 50 junior rangers on the afternoon...close...phewww. Thank goodness for medical and radio training. It is the pace that I will have to keep up with, but your day goes by quickly.

Junior rangers are out in full force. I swear in 25 of them on average after each porch talk. That one was difficult. You must find a topic that you can get into for 15 minutes but one that is able to entertain and audience under the age of 10. I think this one I have the most fun doing. We talk about adventures...and how we learn from our own and remember things from the past. There were many great adventures at Grand Canyon. All of which teach us something. This place is still a mystery but we do not have to know everything about it to appreciate it. Those adventures in history gave us our knowledge of geology, the map of the grand canyon, and our knowledge of the wilderness. We can learn from own own new adventures as well as learn from those who came before us.

This park is a new adventure and deffinetly a different kind of animal. But I am loving the ride. I find myself trying new things and looking back and saying, "Did I relly just do that?" A girl who used shy and reserved...hardly stood up for herself... and was uncertain of the things that were not familar now finds herself talking to hundreds of people at a time, turning strangers into great friends, and grabbing hold of new opportunities. As the rocks break down...character bulds up here. You can see it on the faces of both employee and visitor.Its not that I have found myself or didn't know who I was...I knew that already. I think when you have new adventures you go out on a limb and it all comes flooding back. Sometimes we just need to be reminded.

"Sometimes you need to go out on a limb...because after all, that is where the fruit is." ~ Will Rogers

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Only Constant

It is easy to get lost in the Grand Canyon. Not just lost of your physical location, but lost in your own thoughts, and lost in time.

The allure of entering the canyon is intimidating and exhilerating. One can do everything in their power to make sure that they are prepared. Water, check. Compass and map, check. Food, (oh wait we dont have to carry food at this park...the mules do that for us) check! Snacks just in case I become ravenous, check. Camera, check. Comfortable shoes, change of clothes, rain coat, check , check, and check. The canyon wonderer is as prepared as can be....for the expected and maybe some of the unexpected. But what the canyon will throw at you might be something that can't be prepared for ...but maybe it is suppose to prepare you.

A place of this size and this much wonder causes you to look at the world from a different angle. And with the steep trail and various vantage points there are plenty of angles to choose from. As you desend from above you start to notice that the trail changes...from red powder to yellow rock to green shale. Tiny seashells and corals peek out from the Kaibab limestone 7,000 feet above sea level. This is a place where no ocean should least for now. What took shallow seas millions of years to create I am crossing in just hours. And these crumbly layers of green, yellow, and red did not stand a chance against the powerful river below... ripping its way through the rock in a blink of an eye (that is if you compare it to my hike), 5 million years. Given enough time nothing is more changable than rock.

Keeping an eye on the south rim is hard. Shifting back an forth, switchback to switchback all directions seem blurred. The only thing you know for certain is that you are standing on the south side of the river. Many might look and say golly...that sure is a lot of rock. Surely they are right there is a lot of exposure. I admit the rocks are what I saw when I first glanced at it. But the canyon has away of changing views and as I stare down to the river and then up and down the canyon walls I think, " That there is a lot of space where rocks used to be." Trillions of tons of sediment were removed from this area. Sure makes my 5'7'' self feel pretty insignificant.

The changes that have occured here are so measurable that they can be seen, traced, back and relived through science and imagery. You can feel the power of the Colorado River as you sink your hands into the icy water and let the sand, newly grinded at the bottom, slip through your fingers. Life has adapted in the canyon and rocks have fallen from the top and into place somewhere along the way. Different levels hold a unique power over the landscape and it all comes together to form an ever changing wonder. Sitting among it all we can all become a part of the canyon because we are alive and can are here. Soon however, we like the rock, will be reshaped by something else. When we do become lost in thought and long for stability in an ever evolving universe we can be certain of one thing. The only constant here is change.