The Canyons

There are many places on Earth where one can feel its history come alive. The timeline engraved on rocks and soil reveals the metamorphosis that our planet has gone through in the past 4.5 billion years and it is still evolving. One of the most scientifically significant and visually remarkable of such evidence is found at the Canyons in USA. 

The Grand Canyon with Colorado river cutting through its deep gorges is spread over 14000 sq kms. Each layer of the massive walls defining the Grand Canyon has geological information stored with an artistic touch. There were innumerable questions in my mind as I stood there imagining many events happening in front of me. Was it once submerged under Colorado river? Did the river bed rise above the water and scaled new heights? Was there a super Earthquake? Scientists are not sure of the reasons resulting in the formation of the Grand Canyon. Mysterious ways of Nature!

The Antelope Canyon made me wonder if it’s just another natural phenomenon or work of divine art with forces of nature combining to complete the canvas. The huge curls and twists of the solid rock mass are the fine prints of a turbulent past when massive water flow caused this magnificent underground structure with infinite patterns. The sunlight combines with the mineral deposits on the rocks to create a palette of vibrant colours. One can never have enough of its beauty!

The Bryce Canyon is a story of rock erosion over millions of years giving an abstract look to this region. It was an enlightening experience to explore Bryce during a short hiking tour through its massive walls. Its red soil gives a feel of walking on Mars! When the hot Sun strikes the eroded rocks, it causes a deep orange hue making Bryce go on fire! Bryce was indeed a surprise element of the tour.

The Yosemite National Park is not a part of the Canyon family. Spread over 3000 sq kms, it is testimony to another significant natural phenomenon. About one million years ago, huge glaciers at higher elevations melted and flowed through the valley cutting the massive granite structures like a knife. This resulted in the formation of many cliffs with smooth and vertical walls in Yosemite. The most popular ones are El Capitan and Half Dome. We were lucky to spot a mountain climber making his way to the top of El Capitan, which is extremely difficult to climb. For me, Yosemite was a special destination because the renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adams shot many spectacular pictures here. At the Ansel Adams gallery, I was delighted to see some of the original classic pictures clicked by the master with his manual camera. This made my tour truly satisfying.