Strata of Wonders

Author: Tiffany Fang

Tags: Arizona, Finalist, North America, USA, Vacations

My sandaled feet splashed the fine grains of sand and trampled across patches of tumbleweed. After two excruciating days during a heat wave at Las Vegas, with its dazzling “around the world” displays and nightlife galore, I could finally envelop myself in the soothing hands of nature.

Eventually, sand gave way to rock as I ventured further away from the parking lot. The more I explored, the more my eyes attempted to gulp down the amazing views. There was little to no human interference, except for the protective railings on which eager tourists like me leaned on to capture a full view of the massive layers of red and brown rock carved out by the Colorado River. Who said the Grand Canyon region of Arizona was just desert? I spotted so many fascinating species of wildlife there - coniferous trees with queer-shaped branches, dry bushes, squirrels, ravens, and even deer-like creatures! Though nothing like the diverse flora and fauna of my hometown’s deciduous forests, these captivating sights shed new light on the multifarious life forms thriving in the arid terrain. 

Finally, I reached the rim of the canyon, overlooking the mile-deep layers of eclectic stone dating from the Pre-Cambrian period. I gazed around me. I was surrounded by canyon, stone, and dry forest, without even a sliver of mankind’s inventions to be seen (aside from the furiously snapping cameras). 

The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful wonders of the world. From layered, colorful rock to steep cliff faces, this famous canyon is shrouded in wonder and mystery. I could pick up a pebble, glance at it with scorn for its minuscule power, and throw it into the nearest pond. But when there is a canyon awaiting me, stretching its vast grasps beyond my line of sight, I couldn’t help but gawk at the full potential nature possessed. 

Humans have the power to develop a prosperous city, Las Vegas,  thriving in the desert; Humans have the capability to build a powerful dam, Hoover Dam, to harness the river. The strength of  humans filled my body and my spirit these days. Yet standing in front of the majestic canyon carved by nature over  millions of years, I can not help but feel small. Imagining the canyon, like a god,  has witnessed every form of life that once walked on Earth evolve- every mass extinction, and every new visitor yet to come (who tread its base). I can’t help but venerate our Mother Nature! 

Humans have super powers, but like every species living on this planet, we have our own niche and cannot forget to serve Mother Nature who gives us life!