In the dark of night it’s difficult to understand how vast the chasm between the North and South Rim really is.
Standing on the edge of the canyon, my camera pointed at the stars, all I could see was a seemingly infinite abyss of black stretching out below me; a faint glimmer of orange and yellow marking a campfire somewhere down there. It wasn’t until the light of day that I truly understood the expanse.
In the light of day, it’s easy to get lost in the immensity.
From upon the rim, the canyon seems stretch on for endless miles. And descending to its depths provides no relief from the feeling of insignificance. At Phantom Ranch, the walls tower high above, yet they are only a facade of the greater expanse. There is no relief from the pounding, withering feeling of each step of the ascent. There is no relief from the merciless winds and rain, storms that seem to appear from nowhere on the horizon. There is no relief from the feeling deep in the pit of the stomach that rise and falls with each new view. There is no relief from the immense joy of every new moment, every new sight, and there is no relief from the reality that every moment of every day can’t feel this way.