The most striking and characteristic part of this widely varied

  • Two days later, when we were on a jutting point about eighteen miles east of Bright Angel and one thousand feet higher, we enjoyed another storm of equal glory as to cloud effects, though only a few inches of snow fell.  Before the storm began we had a magnificent view of this grander upper part of the canyon and also of the Coconino Forest and the Painted Desert Replica Oakley sunglasses.  The march of the clouds with their storm banners flying over this sublime landscape was unspeakable glorious, and so also was the breaking up of the storm next morning--the mingling of silver-capped rock, sunshine, and cloud.

    Most tourists make out to be in a hurry even here; therefore their days or hours would be best spent on the promontories nearest the hotel.  Yet a surprising number go down the Bright Angel Trail to the brink of the inner gloomy granite gorge overlooking the river.  Deep canyons attract like high mountains; the deeper they are, the more surely are we drawn into them.  On foot, of course, there is no danger whatever, and, with ordinary precautions, but little on animals.  In comfortable tourist faith, unthinking, unfearing, down go men, women, and children on whatever is offered, horse, mule, or burro, as if saying with Jean Paul, "fear nothing but fear"--not without reason, for these canyon trails down the stairways of the gods are less dangerous than they seem, less dangerous than home stairs.  The guides are cautious, and so are the experienced, much-enduring beasts Wholesale Oakley sunglasses.  The scrawniest Rosinantes and wizened-rat mules cling hard to the rocks endwise or sidewise, like lizards or ants.  From terrace to terrace, climate to climate, down one creeps in sun and shade, through gorge and gully and grassy ravine, and, after a long scramble on foot, at last beneath the mighty cliffs one comes to the grand, roaring river.

    To the mountaineer the depth of the canyon, from five thousand to six thousand feet, will not seem so very wonderful, for he has often explored others that are about as deep.  But the most experienced will be awestruck by the vast extent of huge rock monuments of pointed masonry built up in regular courses towering above, beneath, and round about him.  By the Bright Angel Trail the last fifteen hundred feet of the descent to the river has to be made afoot down the gorge of Indian Garden Creek.  Most of the visitors do not like this part, and are content to stop at the end of the horse trail and look down on the dull-brown flood from the edge of the Indian Garden Plateau.  By the new Hance Trail, excepting a few daringly steep spots, you can ride all the way to the river, where there is a good spacious camp-ground in a mesquite grove.  This trail fake oakleys, built by brave Hance, begins on the highest part of the rim, eight thousand feet above the sea, a thousand feet higher than the head of Bright Angel Trail, and the descent is a little over six thousand feet, through a wonderful variety of climate and life.  Often late in the fall, when frosty winds are blowing and snow is flying at one end of the trail, tender plants are blooming in balmy summer weather at the other.  The trip down and up can be made afoot easily in a day.  In this way one is free to observe the scenery and vegetation, instead of merely clinging to his animal and watching its steps.  But all who have time should go prepared to camp awhile on the riverbank

    , maple, holly-leaved berberis, cowania, spiraea, dwarf oak, and other small shrubs and trees.  In dry gulches and on taluses and sun-beaten crags are sparsely scattered yuccas, cactuses, agave, etc.  Where springs gush from the rocks there are willow thickets, grassy flats, and bright, flowery gardens, and in the hottest recesses the delicate abronia, mesquite, woody compositae, and arborescent cactuses.