Grand Canyon Addendum

Family members who have seen this video have requested that I post it. A kind of Grand Canyon addendum to our recent trip. I about fall over laughing every time I watch Jill’s little stumble.

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The Watchtower

Grand Canyon Watchtower view

The Watchtower has an internal steel framework designed by the bridge builders of the Santa Fe Railway

When I first saw the Grand Canyon Watchtower I thought it to be an ancient structure that had been restored. But no, the Watchtower was constructed in 1932 and opened in May 1933. Architect Mary Colter designed the tower and took care of every detail, even down to the placement of most of the stones, leaving weathered faces untouched to add to the ancient appearance of the tower. She said:

“First and most important, was to design a building that would become part of its surroundings; one that would create no discordant note against the time eroded walls of this promontory.”

The 70-foot Watchtower, a National Historic Landmark, is located at Desert View, the eastern-most developed area on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The design takes its influences from the architecture of the ancestral Puebloan people. There is a gift store, with the upper floors utilized as observation decks for views of the canyon and the Painted Desert.

Grand Canyon Watchtower trees

The top floor of the tower is without decoration which might detract from the beautiful panoramic views of the Grand Canyon


Grand Canyon Watchtower and Colorado River

From the Watchtower is a magnificent view of the Colorado River

Desert View, named after the views to the east of the Painted Desert, has a grand view of the Colorado River, the North Rim can been seen more than 10 miles away, and a on a clear day a panoramic view is visible for over 100 miles.
Grand Canyon Watchtower mural

The first gallery, on the first landing, was done by Fred Kabotie, a Hopi from second Mesa


Grand Canyon Watchtower paintingGrand Canyon Watchtower artGrand Canyon Watchtower

Watchtower Family Photographs

Click on the links to view the family pictures shot at the Watchtower.

  • Jake on the top floor
  • Paul outside the Watchtower
  • Jill on the deck of the Watchtower

Sources

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The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon with Phantom Ranch

The Grand Canyon with Phantom Ranch center right

On our return to Utah from the Mesa Easter Pageant, we stopped at the Grand Canyon. The Canyon is 277 river miles long, is up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. It tells of geological processes in a unique combination of size, color, and dazzling erosional forms. There is a fascinating variety of plants and animals, from the desert next to the Colorado River deep in the canyon to the forests atop its North Rim.

The Making Of The Grand Canyon

The Colorado River flowed across the Colorado Plateau on its way from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Each rain washed sparsely vegetated desert soils into the river.

A steep gradient and heavy sediment loads created a powerful tool for erosion. The river’s volume varied seasonally and over time. As the last ice age ended, the flow may have been 10 times today’s volume.

As the river cuts down, the canyon deepens. Tributaries erode into the canyon’s sides, increasing its width. Erosion carves faster into the softer rock layers, undermining harder layers above. With no foundation these layers collapse, forming the cliffs and slopes profile of the canyon. Erosion wears away the ridges separating adjacent side canyons, leaving buttes and pinnacles.

Grand Canyon

Revealed strata preserve a lengthy, although incomplete, record of Earth's history

Grand Canyon Vista with Phantom Ranch and Kaibab_Bridge

Grand Canyon Vista with Phantom Ranch and Kaibab_Bridge

Grand Canyon Kaibab Bridge

Grand Canyon Kaibab Bridge

Grand Canyon visitors

Grand Canyon visitors enjoying the magnificence of their surroundings

Jill at the Grand Canyon

Jill at the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Colorado River from the South Rim

Grand Canyon Colorado River from the South Rim

Bright Angel Trail

The most popular trail into the canyon begins west of the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim. The trailhead elevation is 6,785 feet and descends 4,380 feet to the Colorado River. The Bright Angel Trail offers wonderful views all along the trail. It has an average grade of 10% along its entire length. At trail’s end, the River Trail continues another 2 miles to the Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch.

Hazards hikers can encounter along the Bright Angel Trail include dehydration, sudden rainstorms, flash flooding, loose footing, bootpacked ice, rockfall, encounters with wildlife, and extreme heat. At the Colorado River, additional hazards include hypothermia (due to the river’s consistently cold temperatures), trauma (due to collisions with boulders in rapids), and drowning.

We decided to walk for just a half-hour down the trail.

Grand Canyon group shot

Along the Bright Angel Trail: Jill, Bryson, Paul, Sarah, Derek, Jake, and Rick

Bright Angel Trail

Along the Bright Angel Trail: Derek carrying Bryson, Sarah, Jill, and Paul

Jill on the Bright Angel Trail

The end, or the beginning, of the Bright Angel Trail

Jill pausing for a photograph on the Bright Angel Trail

Jill pausing for a photograph on the Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon Family Photographs

Click on the links to view the family pictures shot at the Grand Canyon.

Colorado River from the South Rim of the The Grand Canyon

Colorado River from the South Rim of the the Grand Canyon

Sources

  • National Park Service Grand Canyon brochure
  • National Park Service Grand Canyon Guide & Maps
  • Wikipedia Bright Angel Trail

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