Friday, February 19, 2010


A dispatch from the Grand Canyon. The stacks in this stone library are 7,000 feet deep, too deep to let me sleep peacefully, so I woke throughout the night seeing myself on the edge of the precipice. My daughter, brave soul, shares none of my vertigo, and with her father trekked an hour or so down from the Kaibab trailhead on the South rim of the canyon (which, incidentally, is not a hoax).

The process of elimination currently called the Colorado River has taken the past 3 million years to dissect the Colorado plateau, layer by layer, revealing 1.7 billion years of geologic history. Raven clans, sun-drunk in pitch black, patrol the rim's edges, their calls deep croaking caws. Here, none of the cicada-sized Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds that were always popping up in Phoenix. For trees, the fire-proof Ponderosa Pines, Pinyon Pines, and abundant Juniper.

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