Friday, July 29, 2016

Grand Canyon Sunset

For years we've talked about visiting the Grand Canyon. But knowing it was withing driving distance from Denver, we kept putting it off with the reasoning that we should save it for a year when we were a little tight on funds and didn't want to pay for airfare somewhere. Even after moving to Dallas the Grand Canyon still seemed like a driving vacation, just with a slightly longer drive.

So this summer we decided to work it into a longer trip.  And after several wonderful hours at Petrified Forest National Park, we pulled into the gateway town of Tusayan and checked into our hotel.  The rest of the family was beat and just wanted to rest.  I immediately hopped back into the car to catch the sunset. :)

Grand Canyon South Rim
At the risk of sounding stupid and obvious, the Grand Canyon is big.  Bigger than you can really conceive without seeing it in person.  So big that is seems like CGI.  The north rim -- complete with a blazing wildfire -- is about 10 miles away from the south rim where I took this shot.  But it almost seems like you could step off the edge and instantly be there.  It's freaky.

Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon
I decided on Yavapai Point for sunset, got there in plenty of time to grab what seemed like a great spot, and just drunk in the view.  The setting sun was shrouding the canyon in layer upon layer of shadows.

Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon
The crowd grew larger as the sun dropped lower.  But it wasn't an inconvenience; a show like this deserved a large audience.

Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon
The magic moment came, like it always does.  And it was awesome, like it always is. 

Grand Canyon Twilight
Walking back to my car, I made sure to stop every so often and just enjoy the twilight.  Once the sun goes down most people typically think that's it.  Not true, especially when you have a tripod.  Colors can become richer and more vibrant without direct sunlight to wash them out.

Grand Canyon Twilight
The fire on the north rim was actually visible now -- flickering orange beacons from a blaze caused by lightning that was being allowed to burn.  And as I write this, it's still burning and may continue to smolder until the first snowfall.

It was just a couple of hours, and I didn't walk more than a mile of the south rim.  But my brief introduction to the Grand Canyon left me convinced that our visit was going to be well worth all that time in the car!

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