August 28, 2005

Floating along


We went through hundreds of rapids, with all of our belongings tightly wrapped in rubber bags and strapped to the boat, but we also spent many hours moving leisurely along on calmer water, listening for the canyon wren, admiring the spectacular scenery. The colour and shape and type of rock was always changing.

From the raft, we admired side canyons and caves and waterfalls, cacti of all sorts, bighorn sheep, and great blue heron. I was surprised at first at how small the great blue herons were.

"How come the great blue herons are so small here?" I asked the boatman.

He laughed at me. "The birds aren't small. The canyon is big."

10 comments:

Phantom Scribbler said...

My god, look at that vista! Thank you so much for sharing these photos with us!

Scrivener said...

Gorgeous!

Ianqui said...

I can't even begin to put in words how awesome this all looks. I'm ridiculously jealous.

Laura said...

Holy cow! That's beautiful. Okay, I'm definitely making it out there next summer. Just amazing.

peripateticpolarbear said...

oh yeah, the canyon...I guess that totally screws up your perspective! (But I wouldn't mind having my perspective screwed up)

Julie said...

Oh, how fabulous! I love it that the herons looked small. Please post more pix!

Friday Mom said...

Breathtaking! I remember seeing the Canyon for the first time. I was so awestruck it scared me...literally filled me with fear. It's hard to explain and there's always the possibility I'm just weird, but it was a feeling I've never forgotten, nor totally understood. If its vastness makes the blue herons seem small, what did it do to you?

jo(e) said...

Friday Mom: Yeah, the amazing thing about the canyon is really the sheer size of it all. Sort of like swimming in the ocean -- makes me feel very small and humble. We travelled for fourteen days and the canyon just kept going on and on.

The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, which was from the rim, I was thinking about a relative who was dying ... and I found the sheer size of the canyon comforting. Surely, some power far higher than humans made a canyon that big ....

I like being in the presence of something far beyond the scope of humanity.

Friday Mom said...

You know, I hadn't thought about the connection between that feeling and what I was actually experiencing at the time--like you thinking about the relative who was dying when you saw it. I was driving through Arizona on my way to Texas to start the PhD. I was already feeling small, in a not so comforting way. The humility of being caught in the vastness of a landscape is usually very comforting to me. A higher power's existence and creativity are comforting when it gives shape to the meaning I'm making of something mysterious, but maybe there are times when what we are facing seems bigger than we're able to take and the higher power's vastness is overwhelming in a frightening way.

Interesting stuff... I love the pictures.

Running2Ks said...

Amazing and spectacular!