It’s like it doesn’t even exist until you’re about 20 feet from the cliff face, and then it starts to appear as a massive hole in the earth filled with peaks and valleys. When you get right up on top of it, it’s almost as though it’s a painting thats just beyond your reach…the layers, the colours, and the depth, it all helps you realize, it was no ordinary artist that painted and sculpted this…it was the Creator.
I stood there at the edge, trying to envision the first person to come upon this massive crater and what they must have done. It really does toy with you a bit…kicks away all those thoughts of how big you are, and confirms you are but a speck.
The elevation of the Grand Canyon is 8500 ft. and boy, could I feel it. At first, I thought it was my cold getting worse and my lungs constricting, but I soon realized it was the altitude and I needed to slow down and just pace myself. My cousin Bianca is in fine shape and didn’t feel a thing, but I was huffin’ and puffin’ like …well… like me, an overweight, middle aged woman, with a lack of oxygen in her lungs, schlepping her way up a mountain.
If you enlarge that photo, you can see the thin little red line that runs down the mountain…it had no guard rails. *shiver* There are a few options for descending down into the canyon, but we opted to walk the rim path instead. I read that there are people who decide to hike down in, and then when they try to hike back up, the altitude sickness sets in and they need to call for help. Not this gal. No siree.
I also read (all this reading was done after the fact btw..I googled altitude sickness to try to justify my lack of athleticism experienced earlier in the day 😉 ) that a handful of people die every year at the canyon while trying to get the best photo.
This girl used a selfie stick so at least she was jeopardizing only her own life, but Bianca thought it was just the greatest shot ever…so, although it took a bit, she convinced me that we too needed to procure this shot at this angle. She had no issue marching right up there and plopping herself on the cracked ledge, smiling wide for the world to see.
I on the other hand, crawled on my hands and knees with my core shaking and my eyes looking no further than the rock directly beneath me. I opted to lounge on the safe side of the crack, therefore distributing my weight evenly on a larger surface. It worked. I’m still alive.
Here are a few more photos (click on them to see large versions)
This was certainly a highlight to our Arizona vacation…but getting there was a whole other adventure…