In awe at the Grand Canyon

I kept opening and closing my eyes, over and over again, thinking it could not possibly be real. I thought the next time I would open my eyes, I would see the green tent I have come to live in, or wake up in one of our many long van rides, or even wake up in the hotel room that I woke up in the morning I came to the American Southwest on Aug. 25.
But every time I opened them, I saw a dream, divine beauty, the Grand Canyon. And every time I opened my eyes, I smiled.
Our Castleton group of 21 took our last trip of the semester to the Grand Canyon, and spent four days and three nights there. On our way there, I asked Castleton student, Emily Haley, what she was expecting.
“I am expecting to be amazed, but I do not think I can even fathom the thought of it.”
Senior Sarah Gooth had visited it before

“You will be impressed; you just have to see it to believe it,” she said.
When we arrived, professor Paul Derby and professor Liza Meyers pulled over to give the class a sneak-peak of the canyon. As students got out and walked over to the edge, it was silent. People were in awe; sublime wonderment, mixed with fear.
Sophomore Megan Sargent recalled that moment in an interview later.
“It was amazing. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It looked like it went on forever,” she said

On the second day, our group took a tremendous hike down the canyon. We hiked down the trail until we came upon an open area where we were free to meditate, explore, write, or simply hang out. While we were enjoying the canyon, sophomore Charlotte Malaroche reflected.
“It makes me feel small and insignificant. The canyons are so big and they have been here for so long. I feel so lucky to be in such a beautiful place,” she said.
The third day at the Grand Canyon, Meyers assigned a mandatory art class where students did water colors on the rim of the canyon for three hours. Examining the colors of landscape was wild. Shades of reds, purples and tans colored the rocks, while greens and reds covered the land.
The last day at the Grand Canyon was spent visiting the Tusayan ruins. We visited the old area where Ancestral Puebloans once lived, as well as the museum. As we were leaving, Maci Macpherson, a 31-year-old park ranger who lives at the Grand Canyon, talked about why she’s there.  

“I love this place. I first visited when I was in high school, and I knew I would be back. When I came back a few years ago, I made a career and lifestyle out of this place. My favorite parts about being here are the sunset hikes, as well as the archeology,” she said.
As we left, we felt a sense of appreciation and sadness throughout the group. Students expressed their happiness for being indulged in the canyon for four days, but were burdened with the sadness that it was our last group trip together.
“It was awesome! My favorite parts were either the hike or the long art class. I loved that! I think it was a perfect way to end the semester in the Southwest,” said sophomore Matthew Blaire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Students learn by ‘living’ the other side
Next post Crunching for a cause