Not everything or anyone can last or live 100 years; however, when it happens there may be good reason for such longevity. And so it is with the Grand Canyon National Park now celebrating its centennial this Tuesday, this year! Happy birthday!
I am always happy to visit the park through various seasons in a year, each with its own look. There may be snow falling or already on the ground, or spring buds about to bloom, or birds flying through or heading north or south. Will I wear my winter boots with yak-traks or less clothing in the summer heat. I also love seeing the canyon at different times of the day. Maybe a foggy morning, or intense hot, bluebird blue sky midday, or a colorful sunset. I am never one to complain with what nature brings to the canyon; it is wondrous and beautiful, and I always feel so small next to it!
Millions of people visit the canyon each year, and very few have had the joy of spending nights below the rim at Phantom Ranch or Bright Angel Campground. Those who do are adventurous individuals. They get to enjoy the canyon’s bottom either by hiking there or rafting the Colorado River; the river that had shaped this canyon so, so many years ago!
Only a few hundred thousand people visit the north rim of the canyon each year. For those of us who do spend time at the north rim, it is a fantastically quiet, comfortable and enjoyable place to be, especially as the sun sets and stars appear. From this rim I have a greater appreciation of the park being within the national park system and appreciate all the individuals who have continued to protect its status.
My wish is for the park to be available to all future generations … more than 100 years … and to the wildlife, fauna and flora, that live within its boundaries or need to pass through. I have no doubts of continued concrete crawl happening upon our countryside, thus it is more than imperative to protect all of our national parks. While I will not be here at the next 100th, I wish the Grand Canyon National Park many more birthdays and success at putting the “WOW” in someone’s eyes as they look over the rim!