Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Grand Canyon

Last week I visited Grand Canyon National Park, one of the places chosen by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. We visited the north rim of the canyon rather than the more frequented south rim.

One approaches the north rim, which is quite isolated, passing through the forests and meadows of the Colorado Plateau. As the above photo shows, in October the aspens found among the pine forests turn gold. From the road we saw herds of grazing deer, and even a coyote, as well as cattle grazing in the multiple use national forest adjacent to the national park.

The two images above are taken from the lodge on the north rim. Reconstructed after a fire that destroyed the original building, it is again an imposing and interesting building, which we were told is important in the architectural history of the United States, representing a peak achievement of the arts and crafts movement. Certainly the first view of the Grand Canyon itself from the lobby of the lodge leaves an indelible impression.

Walking along a rim trail one sees great views across the ten mile expanse of the mile deep canyon framed by tall and graceful pines.

A road branches off that to the lodge, traveling for miles along the Colorado Plateau, with viewing points provided on the rim providing views such as those provided above.

Archaeologists have discovered many prehistoric sites within Grand Canyon National Park itself, and even today there are Native American communities above and below the national park on the Colorado River. Indeed the history of the region through the expansion of the United States has fascinated Americans, and the larger region surrounding the Grand Canyon has been the site of many western movies.

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