Scott Thybony Commentaries

Peering over the edge of the Grand Canyon for the first time can be a sublime experience. The awe-inspiring beauty can overwhelm and take over your senses. But, as commentator Scott Thybony says, not all first-timers are able to go "into the view" of the Grand Canyon. Instead, they remain on the outside looking in.

National Park Service

The south rim of the Grand Canyon is home to several structural masterpieces designed by  visionary architect Mary Colter in the early 1900's. In his latest Grand Canyon Commentary, Scott Thybony brings us the story of a forgotten staircase leading to one of Colter's favorite spots along the canyon's rim.

Sometimes the journals and diaries of explorers and scientists contain more than formal observations.

Taking notes has become second nature for me.  After scratching down a few observations in the field, I return and work them into narrative notes.  They can end up being anything from a straight-forward record of events to stray impressions tied together into a storyline. 

Rules of thumb come in handy at times.  Commentator Scott Thybony has learned a few of them over the years from Grand Canyon guides, scientists, and rangers.

He entered the meeting room with a loud crash. We were launching an outreach program for middle school students, involving a series of wilderness adventures. They were watching an orientation film when I heard the commotion out front. I found Gilbert on the floor tangled in a stack of folding chairs. He was late, but at least he had managed to find his way here.

Theodore Roosevelt was a larger-than-life presence on the American scene in the years leading up to Arizona statehood. Commentator Scott Thybony tells us about the president's first, and most momentous, trip to the Grand Canyon. It would set the stage for the Canyon to become a national park. 

A young German reached the summit of Elaine Castle on October 11, 1982. He was engaged in an epic trek, determined to be the first person to hike the length of Grand Canyon on both sides of the river. Before starting out, Robert Benson had overstayed his visa and taken an American name from a tombstone. 

Commentator Scott Thybony began putting down roots in northern Arizona when he herded sheep for a Navajo family in the winter of 1972. That spring, he switched from a hogan to a tent on the South Rim and has continued to explore the Grand Canyon ever since. Scott Thybony reflects on the beginning of a lifelong love affair with the Canyon.

The Diary of Ada Bass

Nov 18, 2011

 A music teacher from New York state headed west in 1894 and fell in love with a canyon guide.  Ada Bass, I learned, became the first pioneer woman to raise a family at Grand Canyon.  Beyond that I knew little about her, so arranged to meet her great grandson to find out more.  “The Canyon holds a lure,” Robert Lauzon tells me.  “The beauty of the place caught the women.  They were struck by the magnificence, and by the roughness. ”

Some places can overwhelm the senses. They're too vast and too beautiful to absorb too often. Commentator Scott Thybony encountered this on a trip to Grand Canyon's remote Point Sublime.

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