I turned south to the Grand Canyon in the middle of the day and headed for the North Rim. On the way, I decided I’d try to camp and the only campground was at the South Rim. Then I saw the sign saying that the North Rim was closed for the winter. Decision made, I decided to beeline to the campground, set up my tent, and catch the Grand Canyon sunset.

The last time I was at the Grand Canyon was the summer after graduating from high school. I had signed up with four classmates and seven others for a field trip through the desert Southwest. A satellite school to the University of South Dakota, where I was starting in the fall, offered the camping trip for biology credit. From the south rim of the Grand Canyon, we hiked the 3 miles down to the floor of the canyon, took a quick dip in the rushing Colorado River, then headed back up to the rim. My classmates and I were athletes and it took us all day at a good pace. Not everyone on the trip was in good shape and the last one climbed from the canyon long after midnight.

Setting up my camp after being sick felt like climbing up the canyon. It took a loooong time, and I was completely winded by the time I grabbed my camera and headed for the rim. I had bypassed all of the initial view points to get to the campground, so it was my first time seeing it after all those years. Despite all the magnificent sights I’ve seen, none compare to the awe I feel when I look at this amazing natural creation. It’s stunning, expansive, and exquisite in color, depth, and energy. It truly takes your breath away. A picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s a video I made of Zion, the Grand Canyon, and northeast Arizona.