It was very difficult getting the motivation to rise before dawn, even in early January when the sun doesn’t rise until after 7. But we still had to drive half an hour from our overpriced hotel to the Grand Canyon National Park entrance and then proceed another 15 minutes to the overlook. The idea of a powerful sunrise over one of the worlds most iconic and beautiful sites is a potent one. Visions of a gorgeous, color-filled extravaganza swept through our minds.
Arriving, the arctic stillness of the place and the massive black nothingness as we peered across the canyon was overpowering. One could just make out distant shadows of rock outcroppings.
With no one around, the edge of the world feeling was palpable. The silence was piercing, and the immensity of what we knew was there, could not be seen.
Instead of a glorious sunrise, however, the morning just slowly got brighter bathing the canyon in a misty blue. The canyon, now visible, was almost beyond description as it size slowly became more apparent. No picture ever seems to quite give the same feeling as the actual experience of a place of this magnitude that infinitely dwarfs you. It’s 18 miles across this epic canyon. The feeling of the power of the nature is even more dominating in winter. The icy claws of January pierced my hands. Numerous times I had to go into the small gift shop to warm up. However, such intensity of temperature seems to go with this place of vastness and extremes of light and depth. With very few people there, my eye was free to run in all directions taking in the empty bushes or splashes of green plants on white snow. The sheer size of the place was so more apparent in that quiet stillness without the voices of other people, the way it has been for most of its existence.