National Geographic : 1897 Jul
224 THE FORESTS AND DESERTS OF ARIZONA a hundred steps of the object of our visit, but there is no indica tion of its presence; nothing but commonplace landscapes, albeit in the lovely setting of the shady pine boughs. We ascend the slope, unsuspecting what it is that makes people who have seen it so unreasonably effusive when speaking of it; and then sud denly the sight bursts upon us; the earth has sunk away at our feet to illimitable depths. The first sensation is one of awe and bewilderment; a shock, a sense of oppression, perhaps of horror, overpowers you: There is nothing you have seen before that has given you even a hint of what this is; nothing you can compare it to. It is an inno vation in nature which it takes time to comprehend-to appre ciate; then as you gaze grows on you a realization of the enor mousness, the gorgeousness, the weirdness, the grandeur, majesty, and sublimity of the scene. Speechless you gaze on the vast sea of ghostly, giant shapes, and are overcome by the feeling of your own insignificance as in the presence of infinity. Only gradually are you made fully conscious that you behold the most sublime of all earthly spectacles.