2019 Fall Gateway

mcaywood

Dispatch from the Editor

This dispatch is being written from Point

Imperial, an overlook on the Grand Canyon’s

North Rim with a sublime view to the east. Less

than five feet in front of me the ground drops

away and away and away through nine rock layers,

and finally ends 5,800 feet below me at the

Colorado River. From my vantage I can see a

little green sliver of it, which includes Kwagunt

Rapid, far below me.

The Grand Canyon, celebrated its 100th anniversary

of being a national park this year, and

due to that milestone there has been a lot of discussion

about the Grand Canyon this year, and

a lot of events and festivals to commemorate

our great love and appreciation for this special

place; a place that is certainly one of the greatest

on the planet.

The crown that is the Grand Circle is emblazoned

with many spectacular gems, among them

Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument

Valley, The Wave, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe

Bend. In my opinion, the shiniest gem in

the Grand Circle’s crown is the Grand Canyon.

Just sitting on its edge, looking out across

it peaks, pyramids, buttes, towers and numerous

sidecanyons, is a sublime experience.

And exploring the Grand Canyon from floor

level reveals so much more. I had the great,

great fortune of being a Grand Canyon river

guide for eight seasons and I can tell you that

seeing the Grand Canyon from the bottom looking

up is just as amazing – if not more so –

than seeing it from the top. And from my eight

years as a river guide inside the Grand Canyon

I can also tell you this: The Grand Canyon is

an amazing, singular paradise. And inside it, if

you’re fortunate to spend a good amount of time

exploring it, you’ll find another thousand hidden

paradises. You’ll find them tucked at the back

of Elves Chasm, or Tapeats Creek. The view

from the top of Nankoweap Trail. Splashing

through Monsoon pools in Tuckup Canyon. The

sandstone pillar, standing like an ancient sundial,

when you hike from Hermit Camp to Granite

Camp. And many others.

I spent eight seasons as a Grand Canyon river

guide. But here’s a strange thing. I’ve visited

the rim of the Grand Canyon fewer than ten

times, even though I live only two and a half

hours from either rim.

My friends, especially those who live outside

of the Grand Staircse, are always astounded to

hear that I’ve only been to the rims of the Grand

Canyon five or six times. But there’s a good

reason why: remember that thing I said above,

about the Grand Canyon having a thousand little

hidden pockets of paradise, splendor,

wonder hidden inside of it? The same

holds true for Zion, Arches, Canyonlands

and Monument Valley. They all

have dozens or hundreds of their own

little paradises tucked away inside of

them, and I spend a good bit of my free

time finding them, and exploring them.

And contemplating them. And those

places are just the paradises inside gems

of the crown. Within the Grand Circle

itself lie thousands upon thousands

more such places. If I could grant myself

five lifetimes, I still couldn’t visit

all of them.

So happy 100th birthday Grand Canyon!

To me, it seems silly – pure human

hubris – to celebrate the 100th birthday,

or anniversary of a place that’s

been around for millions of years. Perhaps

a better way of looking at it is this

year marks the 100th anniversary of the

day humans were wise enough to realize

that a place on earth had value beyond

what could be extracted from it.

Much of that credit needs to go to

President Theodore Roosevelt who designated

the Grand Canyon a National

Monument in 1908 (declaring it a national

park was outside the scope of his

presidential powers).

To President Roosevelt the Congressmen

who designated the Grand

Canyon a national park preserving it

for my and my daughter’s generation, I

thank you, and salute your foresight.

Steven Law

Editor

Gateway

to Canyon Country

is produced four times a year by the

staff of the

Lake Powell Chronicle,

P.O. BOX 1716, Page, AZ 86040.

Copyright 2019 News Media Corp.

Phone 928.645.8888

Fax 928.645.2209

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Mike Caywood

mcaywood@lakepowellchronicle.com

Editor

Steven Law

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