Archive for October 16th, 2012

My First Trip to the Grand Canyon

October 16th, 2012

ARIZONA – Contrast Dr. Wilson’s view in the Smithsonian with my view in Arizona:

20121016-074540.jpg
Believe it or not, this was my first trip to the Grand Canyon, and it didn’t fail to impress. It was a perfect day to hike the South Kaibab trail.

20121016-080012.jpg The trail begins with steep switchbacks through the ~270 million year old Kaibab Limestone and Toroweap Formation.

20121016-081141.jpg It then winds past the fantastically cross-bedded Coconino Sandstone to a place called “Ooh Ahh Point”.

20121016-081414.jpg

20121016-082002.jpg The view certainly inspired oohs and aahs. That’s O’Neill Butte in the center foreground.
Within an hour, we were eating lunch on the ~280 million year old Hermit Shale overlooking O’Neill Butte.

20121016-083053.jpg Despite the ominous signs, we made it out of the canyon in time to hike some of the rim and visit other viewpoints.

20121016-084053.jpg We arrived at the Desert View Watchtower just in time to witness a fabulous sunset. The Watchtower was designed by architect Mary Colter in the 1930s, who was meticulous about incorporating the Hopi culture and even hand selected the stone blocks for their shape and color. Overall, it was a fantastic ending to a memorable first-time visit.