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April 12, 2007


I get out of the car and stretch, still tiered from the night of packing and making last minute decisions. The place is empty in the morning fog, except for my companions. Seven of them all doing the same as me. Unloading packs and various gear out the back of a large van. I am the first to put my pack on, anxious for the hike. After making the final adjustments, I grab my camera and walk the forty yards to where I think the rim is. I can’t tell exactly where it is from here because the fog so thick I can only see about twenty yards in all directions. As I get closer towards the rim. I see nothing. Nothing except white emptiness. There are a few shrubs on the cliff sides to the left and right and on the slope directly below me. As I wait for the others, I pull out my camera and take a few shots of nothing. When everyone gathers at my point, I feel sorry for those who will never experience this place. The endless valleys and trenches that make this enormous canyon. The layered stone, still pools, and trickling streams that end in a raging, boulder-crushing river somewhere down below. As it starts to snow, everyone heads off down the trail leaving me to take one last photo of nothing.