day 173
the grand canyon

"I keep telling people I'm retired, but no one gives me my discount." -k.
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Multimedia Mayhem:
Ranger: Allyson
Presentation: The Grandest Canyon
Visual Aid: MS Powerpoint
Length: 1 hour
Speed: Breakneck

Questions: There weren't that many questions after the presentation, considering she covered so much material that the correct answer must have been in there somewhere, though I was tempted to ask how she was able to speak for a full hour without taking a breath.

Bonus Feature of the Day
Meet Allyson:
Park Ranger,
Speed Reader

Sorry for the quality of this photo. I realize this makes it very difficult to get a good idea of what our presenter looked like, but there wasn't much we could do. You see, her speech was fast enough to approach the light speed, sucking all the light from the room into her mouth and thus shrouding the room in darkness.

A Geological Masterpiece, The Grandest Canyon
Feb 15 - Being who we are, and never content with simply being at a natural wonder of the world, we had to learn more. What formed it? What shaped it? What caused it to exist? It wasn't enough that here, in front of us, was this massive geological formation, carved over six million years by the powers of erosion, was there only for our enjoyment. We had to ruin the magic by educating ourselves.

We decided to attend a presentation about the geology of the Grand Canyon last night, before going out for a hike today. We were hoping for a brief overview of how the Grand Canyon was formed, and perhaps a little about the ages of the different layers, so we could point them out as we hiked. What we got was much more.

Much much more. Too much, in fact.

Before it began, she fielded a few questions, and seemed pretty confident in her answers. But then, she dimmed the lights, and began her speech on The Geological Masterpiece, that is, The Grandest Canyon. Here's a short sample of what we learned, as best as we could remember, in as close to the actual dialogue as we can reproduce...

"...and what makes the Grand Canyon one of the most interesting canyons, in the world, is that the age of the rocks, are so old, yet the age of the canyon, is, in relative terms, new, in comparison; the rocks here, on the very bottom layer, of the canyon, are as much as 1.7 billion years old, these black rocks here, that's one thousand, seven hundred million years, but evidence shows, that the canyon itself, the grandest canyon, was actually formed, uh, by the Colorado River, in as little as six million years, which makes this canyon, a very unique canyon, indeed; on a geologic timescale, if you were to represent all of the time the Earth has existed, that is, 4.6 billion years, and represented it on a 24 hour clock, in the course of a single day, you would see that the oldest rocks, those would have been formed at about 3:07 in the afternoon, which is fairly early in the day, then the rocks on top of those were closer to 4:47, and so on, but the actual canyon, the canyon itself, wasn't formed until 11:58pm, that's just two minutes before midnight, if we count midnight as present day; now, how did the Colorado River do this in such a short time, well, the Colorado River, had a great advantage, it had its speed, flowing from a very high point to a very low point in a very short distance, it also had a large volume of water, so the effects of the erosion were much greater than that of a smaller river, and you have to understand that, at no point, was the Colorado River this big, or this deep, it simply opened up the channel, to allow, other forces of erosion to gain access to the very soft sedimentary rock, in order, to form, this geological masterpiece, the grandest canyon; now this canyon is unique because this canyon has many side canyons and those side canyons have other side canyons and that canyon canyon can canyon the canyon canyon's canyon canyon..."
I swear, she must have said the word 'canyon' about a billion times. It was even worse, though, that she had an accent that made her pronounce it like 'kain-yin', with the kaaaain part all drawn out. We started playing a game where whenever she said canyon, we'd try to squeeze the each other's hand first. But we had to stop because we were giggling too much. Had it been a drinking game, we would have consumed so much alcohol that we would have been declared legally drunk until Tuesday.

It was as though she had written a two hour essay, and was trying to read all of it in 35 minutes and leave time for questions. I'm sure that to read the essay at a leisurely pace would be fascinating, but she didn't allow the fascination to sink in before moving on to the next topic. Picture someone saying to you, "Did you know that the common raven has the same speech ability as a parrot?" and before you get the chance to say, "Why, no I didn't, and that's fascinating!" that person says, "And did you know that worms have no armpits?" Then picture this person continuing to tell you these things, back to back, for the better part of an hour.

Trust me. In the beginning it's neat, but eventually, it all ends up sounding a little like this: "Canyon canyon canyon canyon canyon...."

one small push for mankind...
more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

Hi. We started to walk down the trail before dinner(you know, to increase our appetites, as if mine needs to be increased), and after 2-25 min, we turned around and started walking back up. Did I mention that my wife was months pregnant? She had to stop several times with sharp pains in her belly, and I was mentally beginning to brush up on "Childbirth 101," but we finally made it back. What were we thinking?!?!? My 1st born, born on the rim of the Grand Canyon. I was thinking of names I could have named him/her. Grand? No good. Rim? Even worse. Have a great time in Zion.
- Hodge, New York NY

I wish you wouldn't stand so close to the edge!
- Mom, Thunder Bay ON

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Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Grand Canyon

Next Stop: Zion National Park

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Today's Weather:
Kinda Cloudy

Daily Stats

Trail Hiked:Rim Trail
Time:4 hrs

Sleeping Quarters
Mather Campground

It's pancake night at our campground! I have a theory that you have to eat pancakes the second they come off the griddle, so in our house (tent?) we eat them as we cook them. They're called Stand-Up Pancakes and they're grrrrreat!

Cost: $10.00

Grand Canyon
K's Order:Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal
A's Order:Baked Apple Oatmeal
Rim Trail
Grand Canyon
Shared:Kraft Dinner squeezed out of a baggie, Banana, Peach Nectar
Grand Canyon
Both:Stand-Up Pancakes

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. A Technological Masterpiece.