Grand Canyon, June 1

It seems I lost a day somewhere.  No matter, because my camera and I are in love again!  (Not to worry, Oh Mysterious One.  You are still first.)

The disappointment I experienced yesterday has been washed away, and I realize that I was not dispirited by the Grand Canyon but by what humans are doing to this great place.

The U. S. Park service has designated a car-free zone during the summer on the rim road of the west side of the park.  You can grab a ride on a free shuttle and, if you leave early enough, you share most of the morning with just a handful of well adjusted people like yourself.

Oola and I took a walk along the Rim Trail of Grand Canyon.  Visibility was markedly improved over yesterday’s.  The colors, and views were merely wonderful. And in four hours we shared the place with only about a dozen people. Over and over I felt my heart and other vital organs leap at sites like these:

You can click on the thumbnails to see enlargements.

Now, if they would only turn off the sound of the helicopters……

Grand Canyon, May 30

It’s big.

Too big to take pictures of it.

Just sit and look.

Last night, when I came in, I saw how big the parking lots are.  Many parking lots.

I already knew that “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun”.  So I was he first visitor on the excellent shuttle system, and the first one at Mather Point.  Had the whole thing to myself.

It’s big.

Disappointing really.  I had expected vibrant colors.  But evidently that happens only on special days when the smog hasn’t rolled in for the L.A. basin.

So, no pictures of any worth.  No drawings.  I spent the afternoon in the campsite, communing with the herd of elk that sauntered through a couple of times in search of stuff to eat.

elk in camp
elk in camp

Oh, and the lizards were good too.

lizard in the Grand Canyon
Lizard inspects the Grand Canyon and finds it to his liking.

I saw the Grand Canyon, but for whatever reasons, I guess I did not experience the Grand Canyon.

Crossing the Desert, May 29

Hwy 395 in California is beautimous.  That is where I saw the rainbow, and yes, that was a for-real picture, as true as photos ever are.  I didn’t mess with it. Honest.  Funny how people used to think photos were true.  Now, with Photoshop, everyone assumes they are lies of some kind.  (Well, usually they are, but so they always were!)

But scenic highways must end. And I found myself in a small dust storm whipped up by the wind on the Mojave River.  Then Barstow, an economy motel on the old Hwy 66.  At least that is what the townsfolk said.  The motel was run by a sweet Indian couple with a new baby.

And the bed, the bed, a shower and a good night’s sleep!

Early start before things got too hot.  Stopping at every rest stop to exercise.  There was a profusion of desert wild flowers, but the siting I enjoyed was of two hawk nestlings in a palm tree.  They didn’t mind that their home was a non-native species.  They  were patiently waiting for FOOD.

Baby hawks waiting for food
Baby hawks waiting for food

They waited for Mom.  Oola and I had to move on.

Oola has been reading ‘The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  She commented on the part where Little Prince asks him to draw a sheep.  I know that Antoine was a little too busy to draw a sheep, so he drew the box that the sheep was in.

Oola asked me how deep the Grand Canyon is, and could I draw a picture of it. I’ve seen only pictures of the Grand Canyon, but not wishing to disappoint her on either point, I made this cartoon for her.

grand canyon cartoon
The Grand Canyon for Oola

I told her that the astronauts like to take pictures of the Canyon from outer space.  And that it is very deep.  So deep that it goes all the way through the earth and you can see the stars on the other side.  Oola liked that.  She said that the clouds were ok too.  And she liked the little mountains on the edges.  But she thought I should have put in some fiords.

More about the Grand Canyon tomorrow.