Day: August 12, 2008

Meteor Shower Over the Grand Canyon

We were fortunate to be staying at the Grand Canyon on the night of August 11-12, when the Perseids Meteor Shower took place over North America.  Had we been at home, we would have lamented the fact that we’d have to drive a long distance to get away from the city lights to hope to have a chance to see the meteors.  However, when Andrew saw a feature while checking his email yesterday, he stopped by the front desk to see if the park was planning anything special and yes! – we were going to be up at 2 a.m. checking out this celestial fireworks display. The Olympics have come along at a bad time for us, because we stayed up until 11:30 p.m. (local time) to see if the USA men’s gymnastic team would hang on to the silver team medal.  (They didn’t, losing in the last event and dropping to the bronze.)  So we got about 2 hours of sleep before the alarm went off, but everyone pulled themselves out of bed, put on …

A Grand Day

Monday dawned clear, sunny, and beautiful over Grand Canyon, and we made the best of it.  The crowds thinned considerably from Sunday, so we could hike, eat, and enjoy all there is to see at our own pace. On Sunday, we stopped to talk with a ranger and had looked through his telescope to see one of the California Condors in his nest.  These remarkable birds – now being re-established in the wild after having a brush with extinction – have a 9′ wing span, fly at about 55 miles per hour, and can soar to 20,000 feet and then coast for two hours. So imagine our surprise on our way to breakfast on Monday when a Califonia Condor (#72 as tagged on his wings – he was that close) came swooping over our heads looking for his breakfast.  It was wonderful, and I whipped out the camera and captured this picture as he circled overhead.  The size of this bird was amazing…as Andrew points out, just think that one wing is about the size …