four years ago today [2012.11.05]
i slept in zion canyon under the stars spinning overhead. i explored more of the park as i hadn't had much time after arriving the afternoon before. it was a really amazing and beautiful place. i went on a couple of short hikes in the canyon area and saw trees with brilliant yellow, orange, and red leaves before taking the tunnel east out of the park. past the tunnel, i was surrounded by nice rock formations on the road toward the east entrance.
i drove back to arizona to check out the north rim of the grand canyon and got there with not much daylight left. i made it to cape royal and angel's window as the sun was going down. when i walked out to the first overlook, i remember being struck in awe. it was so inspiring and magnificent to be there. it was really silent, the light was beautiful, and there was no one else there. it was a breathtaking experience. i took it all in quickly and ran to the next spot before the sun went down. after i was at the first spot for a little bit, a park ranger came by to say they were closing the main road out in a little while due to the recent fires.
i remember reading one of the signs that really opened my eyes up to how enormous the canyon actually was. i don't remember the exact numbers it said, though when i read how many miles away some of the features or other side of the canyon was and that the large rock formation that looked like it was right there was also a couple miles away, i was struck in awe just as much as i was (if not more than) by the beauty when i first got out to the angel's window overlook. it was really amazing how i perceived the sense of scale before and after knowing how far it really was. i knew the grand canyon was big but wasn't thinking of it when i was memorized by its beauty. when what looked like was right there was really far away, it meant the canyon and formations were really much deeper and grander than it had first appeared from where i stood.
after it was getting dark, i drove up a little to a nearby overlook where the parking lot was right by the edge, and i set up a time-lapse shot of the stars over the canyon below.