Sunday, June 10, 2012

Memorable Places Here and There on the Colorado Plateau: The Granite Gorge of the Grand Canyon

Sometimes one photo says it all.

Clear Creek Trail ascends abruptly from Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The trail guides you through a series of switchbacks and climbs almost a thousand feet before leveling off. As it skirts around rocky corners of the Tonto Platform, it traces the undulating line of the Great Unconformity between the half-billion year old Tapeats Sandstone and the nearly two billion year old Vishnu Schist.

You’re following an enigmatic billion year gap in time along the contour of ancient islands that projected out from the Panthalassic sea. Incredible views of the Colorado River abound as it slices through the Granite Gorge far below.

Eventually, you reach the lofty perch where this photo was taken. You must to sit down. It’s the best seat in the house. All you hear is the warm hum of the wind and the faint murmur of the rapids far below. You never want to leave, and you never will, for it will always be with you.  

1 comment:

  1. You are not kidding, a picture is worth a thousand words. In fact the first thing that popped into my head was that scene in the film "Butch Casidy and the Sundance Kid" where Paul Newman and Robert Redford jumped into that river canyon and floated on down the river away from the Union Pacific Railroad Lawmen.

    Great shot Jack