I think the national park system is one of those things that America did right. I don't know if our country invented the concept of a national park, but we certainly mastered it. I especially like the Golden Age pass, which allows seniors like my father to get himself and others into national parks for free.
And now, the Grand Canyon illustrated, and set to song lyrics.
"It's a long way down to the place where we started from."
Cropping this picture would have reduced how scary the South Rim can be. Very little of the edge is guarded by a rail, so it's really easy to fall. The park rangers don't release statistics regarding jumpers, but there was this morbid book in the gift shops.
"There's a black hat caught in a high tree top."
Okay, so it's brown. But 7,000 feet above sea level is certainly high for a tree, even if you take the picture from a higher elevation.
"Don't wanna be an American idiot."
"Day after day alone on the hill, the man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still."
Lord knows how these two idiots got to that ledge far below us. One commented that he would likely require a change in underwear. That didn't stop other people from venturing out to join them.
"Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man."
These three crazy German kids seemed ill-prepared for the cold, windy morning at Mather Point as they waited to photograph the sunrise. The one on the left is wearing swim trunks, and the middle guy is using a hand towel for protection. Mad props, though, to the guy in the robe. He may be freezing, but he's freezing in style.
"Sunrise, sunrise, looks like morning in your eyes."
We planned to wake up at 4:15 (which is like 2:15 during last call at the luau) to get ready to see a 5:20 sunrise. Surprisingly, we followed through. The peak in the middle is called the Vishnu Temple -- I don't know why, but I do know there were a lot of fellow Indians around.
"Don't you know that there ain't no mountain high enough."
A pretty good shot of what I think are the Deva, Brahma, and Zoroaster Temples. They get jumbled after a while.
"If you've got the feeling, jump across the ceiling"
A different day, a different pair of idiots. A testament to man's stupidity and survivability.
"I'm on the top of the world lookin' down on creation."
This is a lookout point we could only photograph from afar. In a few minutes, it started to rain heavily, so we left the Grand Canyon and headed back.
"Country roads, take me home."
Flintstones Campground, you read my mind. (By foregoing the added insurance coverage, "bust" was actually not an option.)