It's like a painting on a wall. The biggest painting on the biggest wall and it's just far too much to comprehend and appreciate. I needed a week with that masterpiece. A week at the least. Someday.
We drove north from Sedona and spent a day in the park. After admiring the sites from the rim for a while, and nearly getting charged by an elk munching on the landscaping outside of the visitor center, we hiked a mile and a half into the canyon on the Bright Angel trail.
Despite knowing that the return hike would be challenging, I didn't want to stop my descent into the canyon when we reached our turn around point. I wished that we were among the small group of people that would be bunking at the Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the canyon that night. I wanted to stand there, exhausted, and look up and feel terribly small.
Golden hour at the Grand Canyon is something no one should miss. It's the one time in the day when you can almost grasp the size of what lies before you. It's no longer a flat plane of color and detail, it's now miles upon miles of rock and shadow fading into the sky. It's wonderful.
There is a moment in Donald Miller's Through Painted Deserts when he talks about watching the sunrise somewhere in the desert. He describes the color as "...a blue like no blue on and painting or picture. This is living blue, changing from one hue to another..." and I can't think of a better way to describe the blue I saw in Arizona. In the canyon, across Sedona's red rocks and under the prickly pear, it was the richest of blue shadows. I never saw it more intensely than that evening in the canyon. It was one of the things I will always think of when I think back on this trip.