2 Billion Years, 2 Billion Views

And then some….


They say the rocks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon are close to 2 billion years old. ( I don’t understand why the rocks at the top of the canyon are not also 2 billion years old but that’s a question for a geologist I guess).  However, it’s ONLY been 5 or 6 million years since the canyon started to rise up and form as the Colorado River cut through it.  I would love to learn more about the canyon geology….maybe someday.


Every day the canyon looks different….every hour….every minute….every degree the sun moves…every degree I move…every angle…every cloud…and I’m only seeing it from the rim.


It’s all about erosion.  Water, ice, wind, heat, and very important….silt in the water works like sand paper.  Since there are now dams at both ends of the canyon, the erosion has slowed considerably related to the water in the Colorado River and the silt it carries.


I think part of the awe of looking into the canyon comes from being aware of all those millions and billions of years….not that I can grasp that concept in the least….it’s like trying to fathom the distance of the Stars in the night sky.  Between all that, and the size of it, and the beauty of it, one feels very tiny and insignificant.  Perspective….Life and pain and sorrow and war, joy and peace seem to change shape.  A human life span is but an instant.  Perspective.


Our earth is big!  And our earth is oh so tiny…microscopic.


I wanted to mention about bringing dogs here.  dogs are welcome on all the trails above the rim.  You can walk them all around the village and market area.  There is a kennel, but you must reserve ahead and have proof of immunizations.  They are of course, welcome in the campground.  You can’t take them on shuttles, tours, in any buildings, including the hotels and lodges.  It would be lovely to take the shuttles here, but I won’t put my fur babies in the kennel unless it’s for some kind of emergency, so no shuttles for me.  We are limited in our walks because Joy doesn’t go for long walks these days.  I have left them in JR for up to a couple of hours while I explored.  They were in the shade with windows open.  Not always easy to find a shady spot…


The weather has been just about perfect with average day temps of around 70 degrees and average night temps of 40 or so.  There was one very windy day.

Its been wonderful.  People from around the world are here to see this amazing place.  I hear so many languages…English maybe half the time!

But….we leave tomorrow!  The week went so quickly!  Another adventure awaits though, and we will be meeting up with our friends ‘Kerry’ and her dog ‘Annabelle’. ( not their real names).  I’m so looking forward to seeing them!


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16 Responses to 2 Billion Years, 2 Billion Views

  1. Your photos are beautiful!! You asked a very good question and if you discover the answer please post it. You would think the rock at the bottom be the same age!
    You are such a good “mommy” to your Goldens!!! I am so happy they have been allowed to go with you!!
    Safe travels as you move on!!

    • Thank you Gerri, we have arrived safely to our campsite next to our friends.
      I bought a simple book called ‘Grand Canyon Geology’. What I read so far says that one of the basics of geology says that generally what is on the bottom is the oldest, and I get that….and we see all the rock layers….and I guess it was all here from the beginning, but has taken different forms like lava forms new rocks, and bones of animals form new rocks, etc. I have a lot to learn!

  2. Ann Foose says:

    Awesome photography, as is the subject matter, including the precious Goldens. I think it’s amazing how you maintain relationships, even with people you’ve met on the road. Looking forward to the next destination.

    • Hi Anne, I guess it’s just that sometimes people just bond….I mean, considering all the people I meet on the road, it’s just a few that have led to lasting friendships. I’m pretty introverted and not very good at big social gatherings, but I enjoy one on one friendships, or small get togethers. I need to get that shirt that says ‘ sorry I can’t, I have plans with my dogs’.😊
      Yes, I manage to do some rally’s and pot lucks and stuff, but it’s stressful in a way. On the other hand ‘Kerry’ and I have been together non stop talking since I got here today and it’s been relaxing and refreshing. I’m really happy to be in the company of a good friend right now.

  3. Kitty says:

    Geologist here, at least in a former life. 🙂 The simple answer is that not all rocks have been here since the earth was formed, so they are not the same age, and in undisturbed areas like the Grand Canyon, you see the normal process of younger rocks formed on top of older. More helpful answer is that the age of rocks is determined by the time of the events that laid down the materials that then became rocks. For example, some sandstones that hold certain dinosaur bones are Jurassic, or somewhere around 180 million years old. The rocks were once the river beds, etc., where the dinosaurs lived. Most of the rocks you see at the Grand Canyon are sedimentary, meaning they were originally sand or mud or calcium carbonate and became sandstone, shale and limestone. The relative age of most sedimentary rocks is usually determined by the fossils you find in them, that’s paleontology, and how the relative age of fossils has been determined is a long and fascinating story. The absolute age of rocks is often determined by certain minerals from the other two types of rocks – igneous (rocks that were formed when liquid rock, eg., lava, solidified – above ground from volcanoes to form rocks like basalt and below ground to form rocks like granite) and metamorphic (rocks that have been been heated under high pressure but not melted – slates, schists and marbles, for example). The rocks at the bottom of the Grand Valley are both igneous and metamorphic, so their age has been determined by those minerals. There are also newer methods that can give absolute ages to sedimentary rocks, but because lots of them are made up of pieces of older rocks, it is not always easy, so fossils are still good indicators.

    (I changed my major in college to geology after a road trip with several friends in the summer of 1970. Seeing the mountains in most of the western states, I knew I wanted to know why they were there. Even though I switched to biochemistry for most of my working life, the first thing I buy when I see a new part of the country is a book about the geology. Once a geologist, always a geologist.)

    • dawnkinster says:

      Wow! Thank you for this information! It makes sense now that you’ve explained it.

    • Teri Live Oak Fl says:

      Thank you Kitty. That was very interesting.

    • Kitty I love it! Thank you! What you are saying here goes right along with the book I bought, ‘Grand Canyon Geology’. I looked at a few geology books at the GC Bookstore and most seemed very advanced. I needed something to tell me the basics first, and this one does. It’s just so fascinating…and then to see it there in all its glory in front of you…those layers upon layers of different kinds of rocks.
      There is a geology museum at the GC that I went to. It try’s to explain, but there was no geologist there to answer questions, and apparently my question was very basic tohe study of geology. And you answered it perfectly. Thank you!

  4. Kitty says:

    Grand Valley? Lol, I swear I didn’t type that…

  5. dawnkinster says:

    I love, love, love the Grand Canyon. I’ve always wanted to walk to the bottom, stay the night and walk back up. But I’ve never been in the kind of shape I think I’d have to be to accomplish that. I walked down 1 mile with my parents in 1989, took us an hour. Took us 3 hours to walk the mile back up. Your pictures are gorgeous!

    • I know Dawn, I don’t guess I’ll ever get down there to the bottom but wow, now I’d really like to. I went to the IMAX theatre right outside the parks south entrance and watched the half hour movie they show, which is mostly inside the canyon and a trip down the river.
      I’m glad you walked as far as you did down the trail… even that would be great.

  6. Marie Arnold says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip. Marie

  7. Teri Live Oak Fl says:

    Love the canyon pictures. Makes one feel small.

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