Brachiopods, Mollusks and Donkeys, Oh My!

June 11, 2011
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We traveled along more than 60 of the 277 miles of the Grand Canyon, seeing one site after another along the Southern Rim of the Canyon.  At Mather Point (7120 ft) gypsy birds temptingly bopped along the cliff, hoping we would follow them for a hike. Instead we drove down Desert View Drive, walked through Grandview Trailhead, and visited Tusayan Ruin and Museum.  Despite the provoking chickadee, the alluring hiking trail loops and donkey rides, we departed The Grand Canyon National Park that afternoon.

There are not many things proven more patient for change than the Grand Canyon. The specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists today. However, Marine fossils have been found in layers of rock in the Grand Canyon, indicating that it was once the bottom of a sea.  No dinosaur fossils were found in that mix; it was Sir. Mollusk and Madam Brachiopod who ruled while suspended in water above this now dry land.  The rock layers range from 1.2 Billion to 270 Million years old.  The Dinos were a little too late to be fossilized parts of  this natural world wonder, arriving nearby 230 Million years ago.  Then lazy ‘ol Colorado River dropped by about 130 Million years later, after the birth of the Rocky Mountains.

Disappointed that our expectations of dino fossil findings would come up short, we talked into existence exactly what we were hoping for-a Dinosaur Footprint Park! Yeah, only a few miles off our planned path, Tuba City was our next stop…


Wanted: Gouge of Earth

May 18, 2011
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Did I leave you dreaming about what it would be like to be flat? Cool, I hope you now have stories to rival Stanley’s!  Now, back to October 17th, 2010! On our way to the Grand Canyon we stopped at The Coconino National Forest.  We ascended the mountainous area one hairpin turn after another. By the end of it, my Prius was calling me mean names.

Overlooking the abysmal valleys below from the cliffs at the top of the ridge, my stomach was a little unsure of itself. I experienced that “I’m scared to death, hate this feeling but love this feeling because I can feel this feeling” kind of moment.  All you could see were treetops, and more treetops…it was incapacitatingly magnificent.  My stomach is telling me to move on..and also “get me some potato chips!”

Walking past craft stands and piles of pine needles that I wished I had rolled around in, we departed the Oak Creek ledge.  For a surreal few minutes approaching the Grand Canyon, the car sporadically collided with one grand rain drop after another.  One drop literally splashed across the entire windshield.  It was the strangest rainfall I can remember. It was a foreshadowing of what we would see next.

Passing through security (hi, what are you securing, it’s a hole?), map distributors, gates and parking barricades, we landed.  And then, beneath bursts of sunlight, among damp evergreens and extinguished campfire pits we saw this enormous gouge of earth missing from the space in front of us.

The Grand Canyon

Pictures don't do it justice.

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Hi! My name is Heather and I write a blog :) I hope you enjoy!