View from Sapsucker Woods

The Grand Canyon displays time majestically

There are places on our planet that can be appreciated, revered, and fully protected only in the context of earth time. The Grand Canyon is an obvious example, because it displays time so explicitly and majestically. Vishnu Schist underlying the inner gorge is 2 billion years old, the Kaibab Limestone on the rim is “only” 230 million years old, and the Colorado River took a mere 2 to 3 million years to cut through this gigantic time column.

Alaska is a less obvious example. Reverence for Alaska requires not just an appreciation of the gargantuan forces of glaciation and mountain building, but also a willingness to understand and to accept humanity’s place in earth time.

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