National Geographic : 1963 Mar
straight ahead, there was only the canyon.* Once, long before, I had flown over it at great height. I knew the chasm goes on and on for 217 miles, that it is from 5 to 15 miles wide and a mile deep. Seeing it before me, I knew it to be immeasurable. It is not a place for statistics. It is an emotion (pages 334-35). No one ever adequately describes the Grand Canyon. But the names given to the natural wonders are a clue to its mystic power: Holy Grail Temple, Zoroaster Tem ple, Krishna Shrine, Solomon Temple, the Temples of Isis and Osiris, Wotans Throne. No one had ever told me about the trees, gnarled junipers, clinging to filigreed stone terraces. The trees are magnificent-twisted by the winds, hammered by storm, pressed under snows, until, in their age, they achieve a kind of miniature majesty. In early morning darkness I walked toward the Shrine of the Ages on the South Rim of the canyon for Easter sunrise services. The blanket-wrapped crowd sat on rock outcroppings. There were many babies, some in strollers, others plastered against their Combing a cotton field in Yuma County, a mechanical picker does the work of 110 men in a day. Cotton is king of Arizona crops. 316 mothers in the damp-rag attitude of sleep. The sky glowed yellow against the dark rim of the canyon. The eerie forms of eroded buttes and spires appeared gradually, like a photograph in a developing solution. Then the sun rose over the rim. It turned the tips of stunted pines a sparkling gold. A chorus of 52 voices suddenly lifted in a great "Hosanna." Then there was silence. The cliffs revealed their contours, and the Rev. Frank L. Dickey, Jr., of the Grand Can yon Community Church, read the triumphant story of the Resurrection. Monument Valley Glows With Fire Some days later I visited Goulding's Trad ing Post, just north of the Utah-Arizona state line, in Monument Valley. "No matter how much is written about it or how many pictures are taken, the valley never lets you down," said Harry Goulding. We were looking eight miles across the *See Louis Schellbach's "Grand Canyon: Nature's Story of Creation," in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, May, 1955. Parched desert blooms into fertile farm land. Irrigation canal snaking through Yuma Valley produces the magical transformation.