Wednesday, February 13, 2013

That's How Big the Grand Canyon Is

This is what I have to say. 

The Ponderosa Pines that sit on the North Rim of the Canyon about ten miles away from where I am on the South Rim—they look like stubble on man's chin.

That's how big the Grand Canyon is.

And the El Tovar Lodge, built in 1905, three stories, turreted top—if you walk less than a mile from here to where you can look back at the buildings, the lodge and everything else built on the South Rim look like they would cramp and ant.

That's how big the Grand Canyon is.

And if you ever get up in outer space, look down at Earth. I guess it's considered down, I'm not really sure what's considered up or down in space. But, if you get there look out the window and check out Earth. You'll eventually see the canyon. Apparently you can also see state boundaries (see satellite image above) which, when you think about it, is a little mind-blowing. I mean, what are the odds?) Anyway—

That's how big the Grand Canyon is.

In river length the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long. I've rafted them. Each one of those miles are surrounded by big tall walls of ancient sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rock. So tall are these walls that when you look up at them you think 'god, that's a tall wall.' And yet, you are rarely looking at the top of the canyon. Probably not even close to it. The Rim World is usually obscured by these lesser cliffs, miles and miles of them going back and back and back.

That's how big the Grand Canyon is.

One million, two hundred eighteen thousand, three hundred seventy-six acres.

One thousand, nine hundred four square miles.

At its deepest, the canyon dips 6000 feet into the Earth's crust.

At its widest, eighteen miles.

If you want to drive its perimeter and don't want to hike. Plan on a two day trip. It's about an 800 mile haul. Walking its entire perimeter is the equivalent of walking from Los Angeles to New York City. Two thousand five hundred and fifty-seven miles.

That's how big the Grand Canyon is.

If you wanted, you could put either Delaware or Rhode Island inside the Grand Canyon.

If you flattened it, it would cover a good part of the American West.

If you baked something a hundredth its size, covered it with icing and tried to eat it—you would die.

That's how big the Grand Canyon is.

It's a tear in the ground. A rip. A hole. And it is huge. Absolutely humungous.

And that is what I have to say.

-Naseem Rakha 2/13/13

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