Just how ‘grand’ is the Grand Canyon?


Abi Foster / Castleton Spartan

There are few places in the world that can immediately take your breath away. Structured by its towering sandstone walls and split by the roaring Colorado River, the Grand Canyon draws visitors from all over the world allowing them to gaze upon its natural beauty that stretches 277 miles through Northern Arizona.

     The Canyon is layered with thick history and naturally painted with mixes of reds, oranges and tans that line the walls surrounding you. Ravens fly at eye level to the people embracing the canyon’s beauty that lies beneath them. Elk and mule deer roam freely through the tourist filled walkways. Completely unbothered by the groups of people taking their pictures, they have become use to the thousands who enter their home every day.

     People are drawn to one of the seven natural wonders of the world for many reasons. River enthusiasts, for instance, come to experience paddling the Colorado River.

     John Jonker, a Michigan native who is an employee at the visitor’s center for the Grand Canyon, explained why he was drawn to the canyon walls 40-plus years ago.

     “I have been down the river eight times in a kayak and each time it has presented me with a new adventure,” Jonker says, “This canyon is now in my blood. You never experience the same feelings twice; she [the canyon] is forever changing and I think that is why every day thousands of people visit this place of wonder.”

     Luckily the group of Castleton students studying a semester in the Southwest were able to experience the overwhelming vastness of this beautiful canyon. For some of them it was the first time encountering such beautiful land formation and found it hard to put in perspective just how “grand” this canyon is.

     “The Canyon is so surreal,” Castleton student Lily Gaechter said, “It was one of the most mind blowing views I have ever seen. What made the trip awesome was being part of the 2 percent that actually venture below the rim and experience the canyon at its fullest.”

     As a first timer at the Grand Canyon, Gaechter said she can’t wait to return back and spend more time exploring the mysteries this natural wonder has to offer.  

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