What Makes the Canyon Grand… Photos by Peggy Mekemson

The incredible beauty of the Grand Canyon combined with its geological history and opportunity for adventure have pulled Peggy and me back time and time again. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Peggy and I are now finishing up the first week of our Southwest tour and I decided it was time to give you a taste of things to come. Today, I am featuring photos by Peggy that she took on Saturday. All of these are from overlooks along the West Rim Drive between the Grand Canyon Village and Hermit’s Rest. Peggy is using our EOS Rebel T6i with its 16-300 Tamron telephoto lens.

We arrived at our campground in the park around one pm on Saturday and immediately set off to catch the shuttle bus out to Hermit’s rest. The West Rim drive is closed to autos. The bus makes several stops at key overlooks. Visitors are free to get off the bus, hang around as long as they want, and then catch another bus. They run every 10-15 minutes. We took the bus out to Powell Point and then hiked the Rim Trail to Mojave Point. There, we caught another bus out to Hermit’s Rest. After that we took a bus back to Mojave Point for sunset.

Well, most of the photos are by Peggy. (grin) This is not a selfie. Here she is sitting up on the memorial at Powell Point. I am using our Canon Power Shot G9X, the camera I took with me when I hiked down the PCT last year. While it lacks the lens and capabilities of our Canon Rebel, it still does a credible job.
This is looking back at Powell Point from along the Rim Trail. You can see the memorial on top and the tiny people checking out the views. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I have never seen a view of the Grand Canyon that isn’t scenic. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
We often include trees to to add variety to our photos. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
And since Peggy is taking the photos, I often end up in the tree shots. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Turn about is fair play, of course.
This ridge made it into several of our photos because of its dramatic color. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
In addition to the grand views one gets by looking across the canyon, there are always interesting sights looking down. It’s good to avoid getting too close to the edge! Several people fall off every year taking selfies of themselves while standing as close as they can get. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This photo was of interest because of four things. One, it shows the massive Red Wall that makes its way all around the canyon. Two, the dark spot you see in the Red Wall was where a condor was spotted. Three, the trail you see in the distance, marks my first ever trip into the Canyon. I rode down on a mule and was sore for days after. Finally, you can see the Colorado River. Peggy and I did an 18 day raft trip down it several years ago. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Out at Hermit’s Rest, Peggy took a photo of me taking a photo. Can you guess what I am taking a picture of? (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Here’s what I was capturing.
Back at Mojave Point, the sun was preparing to set. Note the tower to the left. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
It turns from a reddish orange… (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
To a deeper red. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
The rock outcrop on the right also caught our attention with its deep golden color.. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I’ll conclude with Peggy’s photo of the outcrop as darkness fell across the Canyon while the sun caught it full on, creating a magical moment. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

NEXT POSTS: As you might imagine, we have much more on the Canyon and will be doing future posts as part of our National Park series. For now, we will provide snippets of our journey as we move along.

60 thoughts on “What Makes the Canyon Grand… Photos by Peggy Mekemson

    • Agree totally, MB. I’ve backpacked into it several times, rafted through it, helicoptered into it with our son( he was a pilot here) and I’ve even taken the mules down. And I am always excited to come again! –Curt

  1. Great photos! You are right, every view of the canyon is wonderfully scenic… almost always. A few years ago, we arrived at the canyon in time for early evening photos. The next morning – it was snowing and we could hardly see more than about 10 feet in front of us. Fortunately, we stop at the canyon every few years. It would have been much worse if this had been our first, and maybe only chance to see it.

    • It would be fun to bring all of you here! Peggy and I were laughing when we recalled how we got you and Tony to set up the tent in the snow. 🙂 Bet we could pull the same thing with Ethan and Cody. –Curt

  2. So glad that Peggy got top billing and even got her name in the title of this post! Well-deserved, Peggy. And not too shabby yourself, Curt. Great photos of one of our national treasures. You might have wished for a wide-angle lens with so much expanse to show. Loved this post and look forward to more to come.

    • Thanks, Rusha. Yes, it was time Peggy got top billing! 🙂 We never tire of returning to the Canyon. I’ll do another post on the Canyon (we had about 600 photos), in time. Today it is on to Walnut Canyon National Monument and the Petrified Forest National Park. –Curt and Peg

    • It seems it wasn’t very long ago when you were traveling through the Southwest, Peggy. Glad to bring back some memories. I’ll bet we will be visiting more places you did. Thanks. –Curt

  3. You are right Curt, Peggy’s last photo of the collection is sheer magic.
    In fact, this world famoused canyon is stunning and can silence us so
    we really can feel the awe of nature.
    I had a dream of travelling there and studied various trips and approaches.
    Just to see some in reality. Instead I take the opportunity to see through
    Peggy’s and your eyes.

    Beautiful post !


    • Thanks, Miriam. The Canyon is indeed awe-inspiring. Phots never quite catch the reality of being there. Just hanging out on the rim, like we did this time, is a treat. But we have also seen t few weeks beneath the rim backpacking and running the river on rafts. –Curt

  4. Outstanding photos from of you!! Between the colors and unique structure of the canyon, I would think you would have tons of angels for spectacular images. I especially like the one you took while crouched down.
    I also notice that Peggy has made certain to get you to put back on the weight you lost during your trek!!

    • Only about 10 pounds, G. 🙂 She thought I looked like an escapee from a concentration camp! I still weigh less than any time since I got off my bike after the 10,000 mile bike trip in 1989 when I met her. Anywhere you look at the Canyon is a photo-op waiting to happen. Thanks. –Curt

  5. I’ve never been there, but Peggy’s photos — and yours — certainly are enticing. Despite the reading and photo-admiring I’ve done, I suspect the sheer scale of the place can be overwhelming. Still, as your photos show, there are details aplenty to bring home its complexity and beauty. Happy and safe travels!

    • I’ve experienced it in many ways over the years, Linda, including that one time on the back of a mule! My favorite approach is still with a backpack on, heading into some of the more remote areas. –Curt

    • One reason we like to add trees to our photos is that they provide perspective but also add detail, Dave. It’s incredibly difficult to capture the essence of the Canyon with a camera. You almost have to be there! –Curt

  6. Wow! Curt, my soul soars as I look at your photos, read your posts! The grandeur of the landscape is awe-inspiring and with due reverence I study the images, imagining myself there. The last photo is outstanding, unearthly! I love the pics of you both, always smiling and looking happy and relaxed! Thank you so much for sharing … reminds me not to give up on my dream of seeing this for real one day. Finally, it must have been amazing for Peggy to travel down the Colorado River … double wow!😀😀

    • Peggy and I have always found the Southwest awe-inspiring, Annika. It draws us back over and over. The Canyon alone would be enough, but there is so much more. It’s hard not to be smiling in the midst of it all! 🙂
      With our love of art, you might be interested to know we are now in Georgia O’Keefe country. We will be visiting her home in Abiquiu in a couple of hours and then heading over to Taos where she also hung out. Yesterday we were in Santa Fe where we visited the Georgia O’Keefe museum. Some fun! Thanks. –Curt and Peg

      • Wow! I’m smiling for your both! It sounds a fabulous trip and enjoy visitng her home and haunts! Perhaps seeing the inspiration behind her art. Have a wonderful weekend.

      • It was an incredible experience, Annika. I will of course do a post on it. We ended up in Taos today exploring her time here. One of the things we have done is to photograph many of the places and things she painted. –Curt

  7. It’s been way too long since I’ve been to the Grand Canyon. Now that I’m all into my hiking challenges, maybe I’ll try the R2R2R hike! Or maybe I’ll just go and enjoy that incredible scenery without testing myself so ridiculously! (Beautiful photos by Peggy!)

    • I’ve hiked from rim to rim, Lexi, but done it over different trips. 🙂 Backpacking into the Canyon for a week or so is an incredible experience which I highly recommend. And Peggy says thank you! –Curt

    • Thank you, Crystal! I was reminded of how special viewing a sunset can be with only minutes to experience the delight. Well worth the challenge of getting to the right spot at the right time….Hugs, Peggy

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