The Grand Enormous Canyon. The Father of all Canyons. The Alpha, the Chief, the Omega of all Ravines and Canyons that ever hoped to be formed on Planet Earth. You just can't fathom how Grand, how Majestic this place is, until you have beheld it with your own eyes. The Grand Canyon commands respect, the landscape unforgiving, and the level of reverence required for this place is clear as the cuts in the cliff faces. With 1,000 ft. drops, you come to realize how anything is possible. If this place can be formed, could exist, then anything is possible. This is the ideal that was inspired in me as I gazed upon one of the most mighty wonders of our Earth. The whole experience is humbling, and should you choose to venture here, on one of the most beautiful yet treacherous landscapes ever formed, then take into consideration my fellow friends - know your limits, because your life depends on it.
|On our way to the Grand Canyon we crossed the Colorado River. I suddenly felt filled with inspiration. This landscape inspires you - makes you feel bigger than what you are, because you are in the presence of something so incredible.|
|Just look at all that Canyon!!|
|Seeing the Grand Canyon at this angle was insighful.|
The landscape is oh so taunting. There is just soooo much to do. As you hike the rim (I was on the South Rim) you see so many opportunities to venture off the path to what I call "Peninsulas", which are parts of the canyon that jut out into the larger expanse, creating a 360 degree view. There aren't any official map trails that take you to these peninsulas, but they are there, and many of them are fairly accessible. Others, not so much.
|This lovely shot was achieved because I ventured out onto a peninsula. |
|I prefer to stay a body length and a half away from the edges.|
Going back was interesting however. There was one section, a 6' drop that I came down, very easily. Getting up 6' is no big deal for me... when I have a bit of a run up. But if I have to do a muscle up to get up, ha! Think again. This was a big fail on my behalf. I realized that I had absolutely no run up, because of course, I'm on the Grand Canyon. I also wasn't going to attempt a cat, not on smooth rock without ledges or holds, and the only way I could get up was if I jumped into a support. Hmmm no thanks. I will not be doing any jumping on any ledges. So I found another way back. At this point however, when I realized I wasn't going back the way I came, I felt a strike of fear within me. And fear... is BAD news. I quickly composed myself with my go to breathing exercises, and knew I needed to act fast but CAREFULLY. It's not good to be in a bad situation for long, because being out there can be very, very unnerving, and it will play with your mind. I knew it was important I got out soon, within 15 minutes. Otherwise what can happen is your brain starts to release oxidative stress, and can cause panic, nausea, and all types of problems. So I focused on problem solving. I knew I could create a switch back pattern if need be. And so that's what I started to do. I kept myself on sure footing, and started creating places using my right hand, digging into dry soil on more flatted areas, to make it more flat, and less gravel ridden. Wherever I moved, I was certain I'd have sure footing to get to where I needed to go. I created one switch back (sort of, more like two foot holds), that's really all it took, a few foot holds and the rest is history. I scrambled and climbed back to the top, and when I got to the top of the rim sighed with relief and said out loud, "Oh Thank God."
The point of all this - I made a miscalculation that could have costed me BIG. What seems like small beans, is not small beans when it comes to terrain at this scale. But luckily I was able to stifle my curiosity with reason - "I know my limits and this is it". When I reached the top, I knew I had pushed the boundary. I had done something that pushed the envelope for me, but I still listened to that voice - that inner wisdom that tells you when it's time to stop. Sometimes, in certain situations, it's just better to quit, and by doing so, you'll end up on top.
Which brings me back to possibility. Everything and anything can be possible. But you have to avoid set backs that will end you. And that's an important life lesson. Most lessons we face in life give us some elbow room, to come back from our mistakes. But there are some mistakes that cost too much, that are too crippling to us, to ever allow us to live up to the potential we had in the first place. It's important to know when we face those lessons - to be aware of what is really before us. It's my hope and prayer that we all take the time to seek out that wisdom for ourselves.
- Elle Beyer