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Grand Canyon - Is it Just a 'Hole in the Ground'?


My love affair with the Grand Canyon began twenty years ago. I had just been married and I asked my new bride where she would like to spend her honeymoon. She gave me two options, either Israel (which was a non starter as the political situation at that time), or the Grand Canyon in the USA.

My first thoughts were why would I want to travel thousands of miles to see a hole in the ground. I had never visited the USA previously and didn't particularly wish to. (how wrong I was as events proved).

Anyway a promise is a promise so that's what we did. We planned a Fly/Drive holiday in the South Western United States.

Starting and finishing in Los Angeles we travelled tour destination via San Diego moving over to Arizona and visiting some beautiful sites along the way, until we reached the Entrance to the South Rim.

I have travelled the Far East during my time in the Royal Navy and seen gorgeous sunrises and sunsets across the Indian Ocean but nothing prepared me for my first view of Grand Canyon at Mather Point. I suppose that I was expecting to travel upwards and look down on the canyon, however the surrounding area was flat and the ground suddenly fell away to show 'the hole in the ground' that is Grand Canyon. The Native American Indians call it Mountain Lying Down. There were hundreds of tourists there and yet it was so quiet as though a reverence had fallen on the crowd.

The sheer scale of this 'hole in the ground' took my breath away.

No matter at what time of day we visited the Rim there were always a great number of tourists of all nationalities and it was always quiet. A silence only broken by the click of Cameras and Video recorders as people attempted to capture the beauty of the canyon. I have taken hundreds of photographs and always failed to capture the grandeur of the scenery and the light that played upon the rocks.

We stayed for two nights and three days on this our first visit to the Grand Canyon and we have returned a dozen times, only once have we visited the USA without visiting the Grand Canyon and that was when we looked at Florida.

The Grand Canyon is truly our Spiritual Home.

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