|Sunrise from the Kaibab Forest|
It’s a long drive up to the North Kaibab Forest and Grand Canyon’s North Rim. Last week, as always when I’m en route, there was a point when I wondered whether it was worth the trip. Does it make sense to keep coming back here for Fall color?
|Magical Forest Road|
Then cruising south on Highway 67 from Jacob Lake I see the first glowing, unfathomable, backlighted aspen trees. There’s a physical sensation of fullness in my chest, a deep breath mingles with whatever that is, and I’m at peace.
|Predawn Glow, Marbleview Point|
Yellow is allegedly an activating, energizing color but this scene calms me and quiets the monkey voice in my head every time. I turn off the radio (even if it is American Top 40 from 1979 on Satellite Radio 70s on 7) and let it all wash over me.
Autumn leaves, like spring flowers, are especially precious to us because they’re ephemeral. This year the wind came up, temperatures dropped, and by the last day of my week there, the show was mostly over. Perhaps it lasted 2 weeks at the most.
Leaf litter is a joy as well, as are the buttery gems fluttering down from the trees into my hair, in the car window, and as big yellow snowflakes onto the green conifers, smug with their constancy.
I enlisted my friends in a little diversion, since the theme of the week was “Yellow,” to come up with names of songs with the color in the title. Here’s what we came up with. Do you have any more?
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
Tie a Yellow Ribbon
Yellow rose of Texas
Don’t eat the Yellow Snow (Frank Zappa)
Yellow Moon (Neville Brothers)
Big Yellow Taxi
(and of course) Mellow Yellow
More images from the trip are in the Autumn in the West Gallery on the website.