Sunday, September 11, 2016

North Rim of the Grand Canyon (Day 24)

What a day!  We left Hurricane, Utah this morning and drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in a few hours.  A geological tour with Ranger Jake (from NJ) helped us immensely in understanding how this “Grand” Canyon was formed.  We met a woman from Baltimore on the tour and she knew all about Rising Sun!  What did she know about my town?  She knew about the Klu Klux Klan history!  I was embarrassed!   Ranger Jake overheard a couple of young boys responding to the awesome scene of the North Rim by saying, “Dude!”  He used that word to tell us the canyon was formed by deposits of animal life from an ancient sea (D=deposits).  Then the Pacific Ocean creeped under the western portion of the country (Colorado plateau) uplifting the land (U=uplifting).  The  deposits were compressed over eons of time, forming the hard granite base of the canyon (D=depressed).  While the Colorado River did carve a small portion of the canyon, most of the sculpting of the canyon occurred through erosion (E=erosion).   I appreciated the ranger’s explanation.  Now if I can only remember the word “Dude” and what each letter stands for, I’ll have it down pat.

According to Ranger Jake, an average of 15 feet of snow comes to the North Rim during the winter months.  It was this snow that has prevented me from seeing the North Rim over the last several years in the springtime.  Now I’ve seen it—and will never forget it—“Dude!”  I am now one of the 500,000 visitors who visit the North Rim each year, compared to being one of the 5 million who visit the South Rim each year!  Both the North and South Rims are now crossed off my bucket list!

The only “bummer” of the day was the failure of the dash cam to record our journey.  I’m disappointed about that, but photos and videos can’t capture the majesty of the places we’ve seen any way.  From the North Rim we drove by Lee’s Crossing (where the Grand Canyon actually begins) the Vermillion Cliffs, and many other scenic Arizona wonders.  A great day, indeed!

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