Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

What a great trip we had today to the Grand Canyon. It's such an amazing site - almost mind boggling and I could have just sat there and looked at it all day. But we had a time frame. Upon arrival we went to the Yavapai Point and Geology Museum, then walked the Rim Trail to Mather Point and back.  We then got in the truck and drove the Desert View Drive. There were quite a few lookout points that we stopped at and I took lots of pictures on the whole trip. I have posted some of them here, but most of them will be in my website because I am able to post the pictures as a slideshow, which I cannot do with this blog site. Unfortunately, it was pretty hazy today, but I got the best pictures I could.

The Grand Canyon is one of Earth's most powerful inspiring landscapes - it overwhelms our senses. Its story tell of geologic processes played out over unimaginable time spans as a unique combination of size, color, and dazzling erosional forms. The Colorado River is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. Its rugged landscape hosts a fascinating variety of plant and animal communities, from the desert next to the Colorado River deep in the canyon to montane forests atop its North Rim. 

Humans have played parts in the story for thousands of years. Broken spear points, enigmatic split-twig figurines, decorated pots, abandoned mines, and historic hotels suggest some who have called the canyon home. 

The Grand Canyon reveals a beautiful sequence of rock layers that serve as windows into time. The carving of the canyon is only the most recent chapter, a geologic blink of an eye, in a long story. That long story includes rock nearly two billion years old in the bottom of the canyon, land masses colliding and drifting apart, mountains forming and eroding away, sea levels rising and falling, and relentless forces of moving water. 

Colorado River down at the bottom

Several factors make Grand Canyon's geology remarkable. Many canyons form a rivers cascade among mountain peaks, but Grand Canyon sits incised into an elevated plateau. The desert landscape exposes the geology to view. It is not hidden under a cloak of vegetation. The strata revealed preserver a lengthy, although incomplete, record of Earth's history. 

No comments:

Post a Comment