From the Tusuyan entry point from the AZ-64 intrastate road, I drove another 15 minutes up to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, a good place to grab a coffee, a restroom break, directions, and various trinkets and souvenirs. Despite not having access to the North Rim, most of what I wanted to see was on the South. A helpful ranger at the information desk provided me information on some of my most requested sites and even directions on how to use the free shuttles to Hermit’s Rest and Desert View on the eastern and western sides of the South Rim respectively. Before seeing any of these other sites, the guide encouraged me to take a quick hike out to Mather Point (about 5min). There I was able to get my first peak at the Grand Canyon.
When I reached the outlook posts on Mather Point, the ground blossomed out before my eyes. A collage of reds, terracottas, burnt umbers, sand, and pops of green from the various ferns that grew on the canyon filled every inch of my retinas with panoramic breadth, and laser sharpness. It made IMAX look like Atari. When people say pictures don’t do something justice, I often find that the picture, in fact, did said thing justice. Photos do cats, contrived hygge-style, sunlit-designer-coffee, and girls pretending to meditate on mountains perfectly acceptable justice. In the case of the Grand Canyon, it’s hard enough to capture the depth and scale of the place, but nearly impossible to capture its energy and soul, of which you can feel. You simply have to see it to believe it.