Grand Canyon enthusiasts celebrated Arizona’s centennial recently with a History Symposium at the South Rim. And some of the most interesting research came from amateur historians in love with the Canyon.
Dennis Foster teaches applied macro-economics at Northern Arizona University. That’s his day job. He spends his free time studying Grand Canyon and its history. For the past 15 years Foster has been investigating the 1882 – 83 Charles Walcott expedition.
While environmentalists are praising a decision by the National Park Service to abolish bottled water sales in the Grand Canyon within 30 days, concerns about corporate influence at public parks linger.
The plan to ban plastic water bottle sales in the Grand Canyon goes back to 2010.
But just before the new policy was to take effect, the Park Service halted it.
Critics complained that the parks chief caved in to Coca Cola, which bottles Dasani Water and has donated $13 million to the parks.
The Grand Canyon is perhaps the most visually stunning place on the planet. But does it feel the same if you can’t see? A group of blind teenagers are on a two-week trek and rafting adventure at the bottom.
Near the edge of the Grand Canyon Esha Mehta listens to distant thunder and feels cool rain fall on her face.
“My vision of nature comes from the sounds, then I make up what I imagine it to look like,” Mehta says.
Larry Stevens is an evolutionary biologist. For the last 41 years, he’s dedicated much of his life to the study and salvation of springs, little spots where water bubbles out of the earth.
Stevens stands in huge alcove carved out of a sandstone cliff on a remoter trail in Grand Canyon National Park. He holds a measuring cup under a stream of water that drips from a cluster of bright green ferns.
“Dripping Springs is a fairly small spring,” Stevens says. “We’re looking at half a gallon a minute of flow.”
Each year an average of 250 people are rescued from inside Grand Canyon. Many of them are hikers unprepared for the substantial temperature difference between the top of the rim and inside the canyon. Hikers can be surprised as they start with pleasant 70-degree temperatures at the top and approach a dangerous 100 degrees, or more, near the river.
Now the National Weather Service is working to address that gap in perceptions. With help from the Park Service, it installed two weather stations inside the Canyon: one at Indian Garden Campground, the other at Phantom Ranch.