Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

10.05.2010

The Grand Canyon!

Two and a half weeks ago—on Saturday, September 18th, to be exact—my family and two dear friends (adopted grandparents, as we say) embarked upon what promised to be a vacation for the ages. What transpired was very much what we anticipated, though the particulars differed from the plan, as they always do. Our grand tour of the western United States encompassed nine states—four of which I had never visited before. Nine western states are a challenge entirely unknown on the East Coast—I assure you!—and we drove over 50 hours altogether during this vacation.

Our travels took us through Idaho and down into Utah, where we had the pleasure of dipping our toes in the Great Salt Lake. It’s a grand thing to see, but also a peculiar site as well, where everything stinks of sulphur, and great gusts of wind blow hardened crystals of salt into your skin like so many miniature daggers. The water does not sting even the freshest wound, but the taste! Oh, the taste! Unbearably salty, is the Great Salt Lake!


Sandi and Ron, the friends who traveled with us.


We zipped along the Utah interstate well below the posted speed of 80 mph—yes, 80!—and spent the next two days visiting Zion and Bryce Canyons respectively. The only thing to sully these spots of paradise was the never-ending propaganda—whether we glanced at a sign, or sat in on a twenty minute documentary, or listened to a well-meaning ranger, or paid attention to the script of our bus driver, all had the same story to tell: “Millions of years ago, this canyon began with a tiny stream…” This, of course, is their way of saying, “I don’t wish to be accountable to a just God, so I’ve chosen to reject Him and His commandments, which forces me to also reject that He created me and the world, and that He destroyed the earth with a worldwide flood (which, by the way, would be the perfect explanation for the formation of this canyon, but never mind that). Thus, I have no other choice but to follow the invention of man along with thousands of others, and subscribe to the theory of evolution.”


Thankfully, we were blessed to have located, bought, and downloaded a series of audio tours from Answers in Genesis, and narrated by Dr. Snelling, who has a PhD in geology. These took us to each vista point and bus stop, but presented us with the Biblical perspective on the formation of the canyons. For example, do you see that arch, way up in the distance (in the photo above)? This is a rare and exceedingly delicate phenomenon, and one which the signs and rangers proudly direct tourists’ attention too. What they neglect to mention, however, is that this arch never could have survived millions of years of erosion and natural forces. Instead, a much more logical explanation would be that this arch is only a few thousand years old, formed along with the rest of Zion Canyon in the flood.


Beautiful Bryce Canyon!


The tree bark smelled like butterscotch--no kidding!





We did a day hike at both Zion and Bryce Canyons.










Monument Valley and Four Corners (the only place in the United States where four states meet at one point) are tucked in the remote, eastern corner of Utah, and we covered many hours of driving time getting there—but what fun it was to be in four places at once!

Finally, we reached the crux of our trip—the Grand Canyon. Driving through the south rim park at 11 PM was maddening as trees would suddenly disappear and this great, black expanse would open up before us. We could just make out the skeleton of the Canyon, but strain as we might, we couldn’t get a sense of its grandness just yet. The next morning, however, when our shuttle bus passed one of these clearings, tears sprang into my eyes at the awesomeness before me. Pictures felt like a hopeless, thankless task—how could we ever, ever, ever capture the incredible 180 degree view before us? As Mr. Ken Ham (president of Answers in Genesis) reminded us on our audio tour, the official story is that the canyon was created by a little water and a lot of time…but Christians believe it was a lot of water and a little time.


It was such a relief to see this plaque glorifying God with Psalms 68:4 amidst the dozens of signs extolling humanism!


Micah is attempting to point out the trail we plan to take!


We toured the Canyon all day, but that was nothing compared to the next day. Finally, after months of talking, planning, training, and assembling, we rose at 3:30 AM to make it to the Canyon by 5:45 AM to begin our descent at the cool, dark time of 6 AM. Yes, we hiked the Canyon. This hiking the Canyon is no small potatoes—it took us 12 hours down and 10 hours up, struggling over rock slides, and terrain so rough that we often relied upon little stacks of rock to point out the path. It took us on a path that dropped 5,000 feet in just 11 miles, and a path that got hotter and hotter near the bottom (100 degrees a the bottom, to be exact, when the rim was only mid-80s).

One of the many fossils we found!








With the glaring sun, the strenuous exertion, and the rationed water, it was one of the most difficult things I have ever attempted. Ron and I both suffered from heat exhaustion in the canyon, and I threw up twice that evening at the bottom of the Canyon. Papa also succumbed after we reached the top. Thankfully, however, we successfully made it out the next day, and we have no regrets that we did it. To see the glorious Canyon close up and personal was a privilege few experience.


No neon flashing lights on this path! Just good, old-fashioned, hard-to-find piles of stone to mark the path.





Now of course, there was the journey back home, which in itself took a week and was filled to the brim with exciting adventures. That story, however, will have to wait for Friday and for Lauren.




14 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds exciting! How did your younger siblings manage such a strenuous hike?

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  2. MK--Well, we gave them the choice whether or not to come (Mama and Sandi didn't hike down, so they could have stayed with them). Everyone chose to come, though, and everyone did quite well, actually! Jonah struggled a bit mentally on the way back up, but overall he was a trooper. And, you'll notice, it was just us "old" folks who succumbed to the heat! =)

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  3. Hey, I was surprised and excited to see your topic for today! I have been studying the grand canyon all day for a discussion in one of my college courses. This is my only opportunity to speak out on behalf of creation, and I want to do it well! I was beginning to be a bit frustrated, but your blog brought my spirits up again, so thanks. :)

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  4. What a great post! Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your exciting trip! I loved the photos, especially the one with the rainbow. I can't wait until Friday! : )

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  5. Lindsay--I can only say "Wow!" God does work in mysterious ways, doesn't He? I urge you to check out the audio tour and numerous other resources provided by Answers in Genesis, if you haven't already. And, while I haven't had a project to compile on the Grand Canyon, I can understand your frustration, because I felt that same frustration at all the evolutionist propaganda within the park. Never even a mention of another theory of its origins! The world certainly needs more people like you to educate others on this vital issue.
    Ruthie--Oh, thank you! Did you catch the double rainbow in that picture? It's faint, but it is there!

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  6. Your Grand Canyon adventure sounds so delightful! I've only been once, and that right after sundown, so I only got a little peep of it through the dusk. Thanks for the pictures!

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  7. Wow! I'm so happy for you. Not all people were blessed to see wonderful places like that and seeing them on your pictures made me realized that there is much in this world that I have to thank for and look forward too. Wish I could go there someday.

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  8. Camille--it's too bad you weren't able to stay longer, but what a marvelous time to look over the Grand Canyon. It's so beautiful at dusk!
    SEY--You are so right. This trip was truly a blessing and a privilege. It is amazing how much of God's unique creation one never even gets to see. Just Monday night, I learned that about something called "Naga fireballs" that shoot up from a river in Thailand due to a natural and unexplained phenomenon. Who knew?! There is so much to explore and learn, and I certainly hope that you can make it to the Grand Canyon someday--but even if you don't, I'm sure you will be able to experience the grand geography in your own neighborhood.

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  9. I wish I could visit Grand Canyon in the future. I'm very attracted to its rich geological history.
    grand canyon bus tours

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  10. I am slightly confused! How come this was posted on Tuesday 10/5 and today??

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  11. It was only published on Tuesday (if you look at your blog feed, you'll see it only appeared once, on Tuesday), but I was playing around with Blogger and figuring a few things out, and I had that post in drafts today to do that. When I put it back up, Blogger gave it today's date. Whoops! I've changed it back now...sorry about the confusion! Lauren's still working on today's post--these picture posts take us three to six hours to do!

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  12. That makes sense now! Thanks for the posts.

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  13. Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I was able to submit my discussion about the Grand Canyon, and I think my classmates are beginning to see the truth of the matter. Praise the Lord! Thank you again for you post, and for your blog in general. I always know I'll be encouraged when I read it.

    Lindsay

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  14. I was just looking for a bible verse pertaining to the Grand Canyon and accidentally stumbled across one of your photos on an atheist website with a link to your blog. Just thought you might like to know. :)
    http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/ldfd9/bible_verses_in_the_grand_canyon_national_park/

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