John & Anne Wiley

2014/05/11

Little To Grand

So back on the day we flew from Flagstaff to tour the Grand Canyon, we began small. Specifically, by flying along much of the Little Colorado River’s two forks. This is a beautiful part of the whole Grand Canyon area, because it’s both smaller and less smog seems to reach it and also we’re allowed to fly lower here. This makes it quite striking from the air.

6443 S.Fork Little CO

6443 S.Fork Little CO

We’re actually higher in this pic than we need to be, because we’re already climbing to traverse the main canyon. Even so, we wonder how many people drive that highway not realizing the remarkable views they’re missing. Gradually as we go, the canyon gets deeper and more beautiful. Brown water nurtures the swath of green life at the bottom, contrasting with the stark desert on top.

6459 Building Suspense

6459 Building Suspense

You can almost hear a crescendo of music as the Grand Canyon appears in the hazy distance, when the south fork joins the north fork and the Little Colorado bends toward it. Now the river changes from brown to a bright milky turquoise and the rocks blush red in anticipation.

6471 Color Shift

6471 Color Shift

As we climb higher still and turn across the Colorado River the water flowing far below us changes again, to the cool green flow issuing from deep in Lake Powell.

6480 Lower Marble Canyon

6480 Lower Marble Canyon

In the distance you can see where the Little Colorado joins and the combined flow bends to the right where it will enter the main canyon. Now we’re flying nearly parallel to that strengthened Colorado, gazing down at myriad seldom-seen “side” canyons with their own creation stories, hiking trails and interesting formations.

6492 Huddling For Crossing

6492 Huddling For Crossing

As you can see at the top of the pic Zubair’s now flying fairly near, giving a feeling we’re huddling together in preparation for crossing the immensity of the chasm. (to be Continued…)

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