May 1st, 2019
Grand Canyon West, Arizona
The Grand Canyon itself is a little off the beaten track, and the western rim, our destination for yesterday, was even further off that track. It's only two hours from Las Vegas, into which we flew, but that second hour takes you deeper and deeper into a seeming desert-like wilderness.
We awoke in Richmond as 3:00am, got on a 6:05am flight, and after a layover in Atlanta, had a four-hour flight to Las Vegas. Another hour to buy some supplies at the local Trader Joe's, plus two more hours in the car, and we pulled into Grand Canyon West a little after 4pm local time. After a tour of the western rim, we had dinner, arrived at our cabin overlooking the edge of the canyon, and tucked ourselves into bed around 9:30pm local time (12:30am Richmond time).
All in all, it was a very long, but interesting and fulfilling day,
That is one big-ass hole in the ground
Everyone speaks with awe about the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. But, truth be told, now that I've seen it myself for the first time, I must say that I'm one of those (probably rare) people that is underwhelmed by the canyon. Yes, it is big — 277 miles long and 18 mile wide — and it is deep — approximately one mile, but is is ultimately just a big-ass hole in the ground. It is the perfect example of millions of years of erosion and the powerful ability of water to carve paths through easily dis-solvable rock, for example limestone and dolomite.
By contrast, the Vredefort crater in what is now South Africa was formed from the impact of an asteroid a mere 6-9 miles in diameter, and that crater is roughly the same size as the Grand Canyon. The difference, of course, is that the Grand Canyon took 5-6 million years to form, while that crater was created instantly upon impact. Now that's impressive.
Here are some photos that we've either taken or collected recently.
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