Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vacation 2012 Part 2

Our next stops were at 3 of the most beautiful National Parks. First up: Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, as wide as 18 miles, and as deep as 1 mile. Over the course of billions of years this Natural Wonder was formed by earth's shifting plates raising mountains. These mountains in turn put pressure on the softer rock layers below & weighed them down until they were eventually below sea level. The Colorado River, again over millions of years ran in and eventually carved out the canyon. The shelving you see on the sides is caused by water seeping into the rock, freezing at night & calving the rock. (As explained by a Geologist talk at the Canyon)
Let me share a few photos:
We had the great luck to be at the Grand Canyon on June 6, 2012. Why was that date important? Because it marked one of the rarest events in planetary history: the transit of Venus across the Sun. According to the Nasa website, only 7 of these events have taken place since the invention of the telescope! The Park Rangers set up a display board; and when we returned for a second visit to see the sunset, we were also able to safely view this phenomenon. They also lent safety glasses so you could look directly.
Here's one of the sunset. The colors and shadows were amazing!
The next day we went to an old Indian observatory and got great views of the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon.
We saw this fella in a tree, and I took this photo for my friend, Stacy, who loves crows.
The next stop was Bryce Canyon. Bryce is an amphitheater canyon filled with gorgeous formations called Hoodoos. At one time the Hoodoos were connected together. Over the years fins between them were worn away, leaving the spires. They were the most gorgeous color! I'll just share a few photos:
The third National Park we visit was Zion National Park. Here the formations are much larger.
We did see some wildlife in this park:
No, I am not that brave or stupid! Do these creatures jump??? I had a good telephoto lens!

Hope you are enjoying the time: Viva Las Vegas!


Jenny Woolf said...

I'm enjoying "accompanying" you on your holiday. I can just feel the hot and breathless hush of that desert scenery. I love deserts. I would love to see the Grand Canyon again. The only time I saw it we had a 7 year old in tow and she was really, really bored. Kids !!

Flowermouse Design said...

I am speechless. It is nearly impossible to understand how this was created. Thank you so much for sharing this - and for a reader to be a part of your view!!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I love to learn, and this has been such a great science, history, geology, and astrological lesson. You packed it all into a fun, exciting, and super photographic narrative. Beautiful photos to accompany your observations. This is what blogging truly IS all about.

Melissa said...

We went to the Grand Canyon and Zion on our honeymoon but we've never made it to Bryce. I would love to go there someday...

Magic Love Crow said...

I am in Awwww!!! Seriously! Wow! What an amazing trip so far Deb!! So beautiful! And, what history! Love my crow ;o) Big Hugs ;o) I can't wait to see more ;o)

Meg@MegaCrafty said...

Gorgeous pictures! I hope to see the canyon myself one day. : )

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

You were 4 hours away and you didn't yell (echo) hello.

Well! :)

It looked like a great trip!

Sunshineshelle said...

Wow, one of the delights of visiting blogs (finally LOL) is finding this post Debbie :) I really loved the photos (& info too) so & loved you sharing your trip with us all, PLUS you got an eclipse thrown in, now that made it even more special!!!