Open-mouthed and Wordless

When I was a little girl, the teachers used to take us to the movie room on Friday afternoons. There was squares of carpet piled in the corner and we would grab them, listen to the soft plop as they hit the tile floor and sit down, crossing our legs Indian-style.

The movie projector was the old style, with two big reels and film you had to thread, the kind that gave me a head-ache when I first started teaching. (I’m mechanically challenged.) We kids would wait until the lights went out, wondering where the pictures on the pull-down screen would take us.

The only movie that sticks with me after all this time was a movie about the West. It was about the Grand Canyon and the Mojave Desert. Using time-lapse photography, the movie showed us how shadows changed the Grand Canyon from dawn to dusk and what happened in the desert after a rain. We watched, open-mouthed with the beauty of it all. And ever since, I have wanted to see the Grand Canyon.

As we planned our trip, I wondered if I had remembered the beauty as being “bigger” than it could possibly be. But when the hubby and I got our first view of the canyon at Mather Point, I felt my mouth drop open again. And the more we saw, the better it got. When we first got there it was sort of cloudy and you could watch the canyon’s color change minute by minute. We took the requisite pictures, of course, and then we found a bench and just watched.

Soon we wanted to see more. There are free shuttle buses that you can ride at the park. We took the red, or Hermit’s Rest Shuttle, so we could could see Hermit’s Rest and Mohave Points. The wind was gusting up to forty miles an hour that day and the temperature never hit the 60s, so it was really COLD. The hot chocolate we got at Hermit’s Point tasted really good! I was intrigued by the way the wind had twisted the trees there. Some of them looked like cords twisted together and yet, even with their roots sometimes out of the ground, they managed to hang on.

When we took the green or Kaibab Trail shuttle, we saw where the mules that carry people to the bottom of the canyon were penned. This route took us out to Yaki Point, which was much less crowded than Mather Point and every bit as beautiful.

We saw more beautiful scenery as we left through the east entrance of the park and, if we are luck enough to go back, I think that’s where I’d like to enter. Desert View affords a different perspective on the canyon and gives a good view of the Colorado River, which formed it.

I don’t think you can appreciate exactly how “grand” the Grand Canyon is unless you actually see it. According to the guide we received upon entering the park, the average distance across the canyon is ten miles as the crow flies. However, we saw signs as we traveled that said some of the formations we were looking at were over forty miles away!

Again according to the guide we received, the Grand Canyon couldn’t have been formed were it not for the Colorado Plateau, which was raised more than 10,000 feet without being split apart like most land is through the shifting of tectonic plates. The guild calls the formation of the plateau a geological puzzle. I call it evidence of God the Artist at work. Genesis tells us that God saw His Creation and deemed it good. I think he must have been particularly pleased with the Grand Canyon.

Do you remember THE FLINTSTONES? The hubby remembers an episode where Fred and Barney took their families on a vacation to the Grand Canyon which, at that point, was just a crack in the ground with a small stream of water running through it. Fred was unimpressed and he told Barney he didn’t see what the big deal was. Barney’s reply was that “they” expect it to be something grand someday.

What an understatement!

That’s my spiel. Here are the pictures. There are a lot, so I forgive you if you don’t look at them all. We just couldn’t decide which ones to leave out!

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1 Response to “Open-mouthed and Wordless”


  1. 1 writeathome June 16, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    The Grand Canyon looks awesome! I do hope I can experience it one day in person. If God has made so many beautiful places down here on earth, I just can’t imagine what Heaven is going to be like!


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