Travel responsibly. Take nothing but pictures. Conserve.
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We rise early to catch the sunrise at Hopi point. The sun is not up yet and we drive in the darkness to the viewpoint. All through you get a feeling that there is a vast emptiness just beyond, but you just do not see it just yet. As we arrived at Hopi point skylight began to illuminate the Canyon and we could make out some the shapes that made the canyon. It truly was vast, the kind of feeling you get when you see the ocean. Silent, tranquil, immense.
There were just two people when we arrived and slowly others came. It was quite cold and nobody said much. The sun began to rise and we all just watched.
It was cloudy that day, so the canyon was not illuminated brightly. The light was uniform without shadow.
After visiting the back country office we start descending down the South Kaibab Trail
There was a lot of snow and in many places the snow had melted and froze again forming a hard slippery surface. We walked wearing micro spikes that bit into the hard snow.
I hate large gloves, while they keep the hands warm, they make camera use impossible. All I can do is operate the power switch and the shutter.
A nicer view of the Canyon of the Colarado River. Its going to be a 1500 meter descent. What you see below is the plateau. Look further and you'll see a gorge. The river is about 300 meters deeper from where the plateau ends.
The Colorado Plateau kept getting pushed up 3.2km due to a phenomenon called uplift and the river kept cutting the plateau at various points over the course of time. Give this phenomenon 17 million years and what you see is that the river has exposed nearly 2 billion years of the earths geological history. The river still continues to do what it was doing even this day, which is eroding soil and creating newer canyons. But now there is a dam upriver so the amount of water passing through the canyon is controlled by humans.
Deepu breaks one of his trekking poles in the first 5 minutes of use. The broken pole piggybacks on his backpack all the way to river and back. He is pictured here with the other good pole. I think sticks are better although I don't use any. I saw some nice engraved walking poles of the stick variety at many stores on the rim top.
Pictures cant really show the true scale of things.
You can see two trails in this picture, one going bottom to top and the other moving left to right in the top half of the picture. There are also 5 gorges. We are going to descend down, walk down river and climb up the third gorge from bottom to the rim top. The trail going left to right is a the trail to plateau point where people on mules ride to, in order to get a good view of the river. Even mules do not descend to the river from the rim top and back in one day. Plateau point is where they go after which they turn back.
The clouds began to clear and shadows begin to appear. You can see the trail leading to plateau point clearly in the center of picture
First view of the Colorado river
The north rim is clearly visible now. The distance between South and North rim is 16 kilometres as the condor flies. But the driving distance is 258 km
loo with a view, there is also a phone you can dial in an emergency emergency from here.
The Colorado River
We have to cross this bridge to get to Phantom Lodge where we halt for the night
Colorado river carrying silt