Thursday, September 25, 2014

Riding the Rails -- Reaching Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon is an awesome and inspiring place that stays with you forever. 

One of the seven natural wonders of the world, it is 277 miles long, 18 miles at its widest point and 6,000 feet at its deepest point. When you gaze into this gigantic opening in the earth, you see the layers upon layers of rock that were carved by Colorado River and other natural forces over millions of years.

© Michael Embry
The deep splendor of Grand Canyon
Designated a national park in 1919, Grand Canyon covers more than 1.2 million acres. About 5 million people visit the canyon each year to marvel at the magnificent formations.

Although I traveled to the park in 1985, I told my wife Mary it was a place I wanted her to experience as well. We had planned to go there last October, during our vacation to Las Vegas, but the government shutdown prevented that from happening.
© Michael Embry
The Watchtower on the south rim 

Our first stop on the tour was the Watchtower, designed by Mary Colter and opened in 1933 as a gift shop and rest area on the south rim. It provided some breathtaking views.
© Michael Embry
Grand Canyon Lodge

From there, we traveled to Grand Canyon Village, which has hiking trails, gift shop, restaurant,  and more places to see the park. I know some in our group wanted to take a mule  tour to the bottom, but there wasn't enough time. 

Several years ago I wanted to hike to the bottom and back up, but that was when I was a younger man, and in much better physical condition than I am today. Maybe in the future it'll return to my list of things to do before I die (I'm just afraid it would kill me at this point!). 

© Michael Embry
The Hopi House at Grand Canyon Village
Needless to say, Grand Canyon National Park merits more than several hours to appreciate it and soak in all the grandeur. 

One of the things I thought was humorous came while we were headed back to Flagstaff. There was a gorgeous rainbow spanning the southern sky, and a lot of folks with cameras started taking photos. We had just left one of the most awe-inspiring places on Earth, and couldn't resist snapping a few shots of something we see all the time.
© Michael Embry
Perhaps Grand Canyon inspired us to to appreciate all of nature's beauty.

Until the next time...


  1. Wow nice! This place is amazing. I have heard alot about grand canyon. I wish i could visit too there. This place is worth visiting as you may see some unique style of nature in these different layers of earth. Hope you enjoyed your trip.

  2. I had a great time on my trip. More to come, Kiran!