I have gazed upon the
Canyon at this spot almost yearly, and often daily for weeks at a time,
about twenty years, yet such is the marvelousness of distance, that never
until two days ago did I discover that a giant detached mountain, fully
eight thousand feet high, and with a base ten miles square, which I had
photographed from another angle on the north side of the Canyon, stood in
the direct line of my sight and, as it were, immediately before me. The
discovery was made by a peculiar falling of light and shadow. The heavens
were filled with clouds which threw complete shadows on the far north wall.
The sun happened to shine through the clouds and light up the whole
contour of this Steamboat Mountain (so called because of its shape), so
that it stood forth clearly outlined against the dark field behind. In
surprise I called to my companion and showed her my discovery. Yet, such is
the deceptiveness of distance that, to the unaided eye, and without being
aware of the fact, even my observant faculties had never before perceived
that this gigantic mass was not a portion of the great north wall, from
which it is detached by a canyon fully eight miles wide.
No one can know the Grand Canyon, in all its phases. It is one of those
sights that words cannot exaggerate. What does it matter how deep you
say - in hundreds or thousands of feet - the Canyon is, when you cannot see
to the bottom of it?
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