Going for a nighttime walk at Phantom Ranch can be an awesome, bewildering, surreal experience. Typically, the stars are absolutely dazzling and walking among rocks that are 1.8 billion years old can make you feel like you are standing in the past and looking at, God-only-knows-what; the past?—present?—future? The vortex swirling around Polaris (the North Star) creates a peephole into infinity and eternity,both words that are scientifically enigmatic. Little wonder St. Augustine (354 AD) questioned the meaning of the word time. The 6,000-year-old Anasazi ruins (near Phantom Ranch) are a haunting reminder that the gift of life is precious and fleeting. More importantly, they remind us that civilizations rise and fall and the Earth, and all of her inhabitants, will end in the Cosmic recycling process. Hikers who hike from the Colorado River, up to either rim of the Grand Canyon, often arrive physically exhausted, spiritually energized, but mentally bewildered with few words that can describe their adventure.
Photo credit: Grand Canyon NPS; Babak Tafreshi