Forest, Kaibab Plateau, Arizona
The Kaibab Plateau is a fragile haven of coolness and moisture in a harsh, desert landscape. The chill of the altitude can be especially welcome during the warmer times of the year. Because these forests reminded me of how the once great virgin forests of the East must have looked, I felt that it was particularly fortunate that the tidal wave of human exploitation has, at least for the time being, been held in check here by National Park status. Unlike the south rim, the north rim of the Grand Canyon is a very hilly place, though the hills are small enough to go unnoticed to anyone looking across the Canyon from the other side. I was surprised to find that it even has a few, small limestone sinkhole lakes. As on the south rim, the shock of encountering the brink of the colossal gorge is overwhelming.