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"Delicate Dusk" -- call concerning
Below are direct links to the Grand Canyon/Landscape narratives:
Grand Canyon narrative -- " The Big Show"
Grand Canyon narrative -- "The Soul of the River"
Grand Canyon narrative -- "Rhythm of the River"
Grand Canyon narrative -- "The Ribbon of Sky"
Grand Canyon narrative -- "Into the Gorge"
Grand Canyon narrative -- "Nature's Great Crescendos"
Grand Canyon narrative --"The Human Factor"
(Special note: The Grand Canyon narratives came to be during our private float and as a result of my dissatisfaction in the attempt to express myself only with photography; which, although somewhat successful, seemed a bit incomplete. In frustration I began to write down my feelings, often in-flow. The results include these narratives. The narratives should be read in the order presented above. I hope you exact some of the power and glory of this marvelous place from the writings.)
"The Ribbon of Sky"
Today we float from Hance Rapids and the walls of Upper Granite Gorge begin to squeeze in. We snap photos as the drama of the rock begins. Here the walls are shiny black and orange, and the Earth exposes its history to beyond two billion years. I can imagine how the early explorers must have felt as the river thunders with new rapids every few miles, and the gorge drops off in a river corridor seemingly as steep as the ancient walls themselves. Quite powerful. The towering motor rigs pass us occasionally, breaking both the silence of the quiet water and the threatening sounds of the "approaching" rapids. We wonder why the customers are dressed in full rain gear, for they are sitting up so high -- it's really unlikely that they will even get wet. Further, the air temperature is now well over 100 degrees -- nights so warm we lay out naked, perhaps crawling into our sheets (sleeping bags here in the Grand Canyon summer are much too warm) only during the early morning hours.
When I stir, I look skyward. Bright meteor blasts occasionally disturb the constellations, and many times the full shapes of these great mythological symbols are difficult to recognize. This is because we are now enveloped in the great Gorge, and the sky is but a ribbon. It's beauty is immense, not unlike this entire place. We have seen at times the Milky Way, lined up with the ribbon of sky -- completely parallel, almost as if by plan. At other camps we are witness to different, equally fantastic patterns. The true horizon is never visible, so we satisfy ourselves with the Canyon's horizon and the special configuration that each camp offers. The power of the night sky, like the water, heat, rapids and rock; this power has begun to overwhelm us. Days turn into weeks, former plans are forgotten, former responsibilities seem totally unimportant here in a place of such great power. This is the Grand Canyon, where more than two billion years of Earth history is revealed; a place where humans themselves are but the most trivial of passerbys in a grander scheme of things.
Copyright Willis Greiner, 1994. All rights reserved.
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