Having missed out on a family vacation this summer, we decided spur of the moment to take a quick trip to the Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving with the kids. And what a trip it was!
It started out really well. It was a bit cold for us Southern California types at 7000 feet in the winter in the high desert, but no matter. The kids got to play in snow for the first time when we stopped for a meal in Williams, AZ on Wednesday.
We hiked on Bright Angel trail on Thanksgiving Day, as far down as we figured the kids could manage to walk back up hill. We had a nice turkey dinner with all the trimmings that night in the cafeteria. Between the cold and the walking, we all ate ravenously and enjoyed it.
Friday we set as our day to to get up to watch sunrise over the Canyon, which is normally quite beautiful. We got what I felt was a late start, and it was cold. I thought about staying in bed. I also forgot we had to scrape ice off the car and warm it up to make the short trek from our hotel to the rim.
But we managed to make it over there, with all my camera gear in tow, expecting a pleasant view of sun peaking over the rim.
What we saw as we came up to the edge, however, took our breath away.
We were lucky enough to be in the park for a rare temperature inversion. Now I am not a climate scientist, but my understanding is that once or twice a year, the air at the bottom of the canyon is colder than the air at the top, creating fog inside the canyon. Usually, this results in so much fog that you cannot see much from the rim. But once every 10 years or so, the inversion is just right so that the skies above the Canyon remain blue, while rolling fog fills the canyon. We happened to be there for this event.
I knew it was special when a park ranger came by gawking and taking pictures like a tourist, telling anyone in earshot how lucky they were to see this.
So I snapped away in every direction with my camera. Happily, at some point it occurred to me that the slowly moving fog might make a good video. Eventually I realized it would make even better time lapse. I had not planned for moving pictures, but fortunately, I had all my gear, and I have done enough video that I was able to capture the feeling of the event. I spent a good three or four hours taking footage and making still photos. And when we got home I processed it all into a little video. I put it up thinking I’d share it with my Facebook friends. I also added a link to it on the Grand Canyon’s Facebook page in a comment, thinking anyone going there might get a kick out of it.
I definitely underestimated the interest. It got embedded in a blog called Colossal, garnering thousands of views and getting picked up by numerous other outlets world wide, mostly newspaper and magazine blogs. I will compile a list at some point, but now I have also seen it linked in the Huffington Post. I even got pirated! Someone re-uploaded it as their own content to YouTube. Does that mean I have arrived?
Probably not. I don’t know how long the interest will last, but it has been quite gratifying to share my vacation snapshots with so many people.