We watched the sunset and so it seemed logical that we would get up at 4:30 a.m., throw on clothes and dash to Mather Point to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon.
We hoped our photos of the canyon would be lit in a way that allowed our phones to catch more accurately the canyon colors that we were seeing with our naked eye.
We drove the short distance from Market Plaza to the Visitor Center parking lot at Mather Point. We joined the crowds walking to the cement deck and rails to stake out spots and watch the sun rise.
There were groups of boisterous young people and contemplative adults. Families kidded one another and couples took turns taking photos of each other and the sunrise.
We enjoyed chatting with Jane from the UK.
After about an hour our craving for coffee and our hunger got the best of us and we turned for the car.
As we walked towards the parking lot we saw a herd of female elk. It was exciting and yet we remained cautious.
The National Park doesn’t pull punches. There are signs that are blunt: “Do not feed the squirrels. They have fleas that carry bubonic plague.” Or stay 75 feet from elk and other wild animals. They also warn you of the perils of going to close to the canyon edge. We witnessed people ignoring all of this advice. Sigh. I guess people feel they are special and nothing bad will happen to them.
So enjoy the beauty of the park. Appreciate our forefather and mothers who set aside these special places. Thank the people who dedicate themselves to protecting them today and making our experience possible. And respect the wildness of the place.