October 31, 2007

Desolate Solitude

After dinner we pass through a region of the wildest desolation. The canyon is very tortuous, the river very rapid, and many lateral canyons enter on either side…piles of broken rock lie against these walls; crags and tower shaped peaks are seen everywhere, and away above them, long lines of broken cliffs; and above and beyond the cliffs are pine forests, of which we obtain occasional glimpses as we look up through a vista of rocks. The walls are almost without vegetation; a few dwarf bushes are seen here and there clinging to the rocks, and cedars grow from the crevices - not like the cedars of a land refreshed with rains…but ugly clumps, like war clubs beset with spines.  
We are minded to call this the Canyon of Desolation.  
          -John Wesley Powell, 7-8-1869