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Thursday, September 22, 2016


    Three days ago I saw a Grand Canyon sunrise from Bright Angel Point. To get there, you walk a quarter-mile trail. At times, both sides are so steep a miss-step could kill you. A fall would have you
bouncing off boulders for 2000 feet.
Taking this picture made me very nervous

     This is my fifth tip to Arizona's big hole and every time it both amazes and scares. It's such an incredible wonder, I can't stop looking down at all its levels, colors, and shapes. To get a better view I go as close to the edge as I dare. Probably 1/10 of one percent of the perimeter has guard railings.  Dying -or at least serious injury- seems too easy.

     Later in a gift shop, I saw a book, "Death in Grand Canyon". It went into detail about the deaths and serious injuries suffered by tourists.  Three years ago a 22-year old did a one-legged pose for a picture, lost his balance, and fell. 
     In 2009, a nine-year-old-girl, resisting her mother's order, "Don't  go near the edge!" did just that and died. They had to use a helicopter to retrieve her body.
          Florida is has more lighting strikes than any other state but this place has its share. When Francesca and I visited five years ago, we looked from the north rim across the abyss and saw dark clouds approaching. A bolt of lighting struck near the south rim lodge. We later learned it had killed a German tourist.

      Over millions of years the raging Colorado River carved our country's most scenic site.  Seen from the top, the tiny blue thread has taken its share of lives as well. Nine years ago a man standing at the edge lost his hat. When he jumped in to retrieve it he was swept away.

      The most amazing story of all, when you look at the stats, it how few people die here. Despite over a million people visiting annually, the canyon only kills about one of them per year. 
      I wish I could say that about Miami traffic.
                                                 Greetings from the Bright Angel Trail


1 comment:

  1. I cannot get enough of that giant hole in the ground.