Ever since I watched movie, 'Grand Canyon', I've expected that a visit to this giant gouge in the desert would be a spiritual experience, like it is in the movie. When I finally got there, it was a little different.
The bus took us from glittery Las Vegas out into a sort of nowhere place, a flat brown landscape dotted with scruffy bushes that seemed to stretch on forever. There were mountains in the distance, but bare and red, devoid of plants.The weather in Las Vegas had been really hot, so of course we were wearing summer clothes. When the bus finally pulled into the overlook and we got out, the last thing we expected was a freezing wind. Ack! How did this happen? So before we even took a peek at the canyon, we had to buy sweatshirts from the tourist shop.Outside, in the miserable wind, the canyon loomed, just like in all the pictures. A deep deep hole with terrifying vertical sides that looked like a giant crowbar had pried away slices of rock. There was nothing smooth or weathered about it. The colors were spectacular, though. As were the incredibly oblivious people climbing around near the edge taking pictures, inches away from sudden death.
We kept a safe distance from the edge. I kept trying to imagine how this giant empty crack in the earth came to be. The story I was told was that a loooong time ago there was a giant flood and it got carved out by water. Right.
My experience of this place was one of wonder, but also one of curiosity. What really caused this? Was there a giant mining machine that carved it out? The pointy mountains dotting the surrounding area resembled piles of mining waste - tailings. Surely all that material had to go somewhere.
I was left with the impression that perhaps no one has a clue how this came about. It's impressive, though.