Symphony of colors

{Blog Editor’s note: Over the next few weeks we will have guest bloggers from our Doris Duke Conservation Scholars  experiential education program provide updates and descriptions of their adventures in learning this summer. These updates aren’t in any particular order. Buckle your seat belts, folks; it’s sure to be an amazing ride!}

June 25, 2014 by Walter and Kim

After another wonderful night under the stars at Mangum camp, the gang woke up to coffee, tea, and hot cocoa on the porch over an amazing view of the Kaibab plateau cliffs.

The gang was eager to learn about one of the six internship opportunities being offered later this summer.  The sagebrush habitat assessment was the talk on everyone’s mouth this fine summer’s morning before and after attunement.  Once we were all packed for the day, we left and headed to a habitat that was full of sage brush. Angie enlightened us with the knowledge and importance of the elusive sagebrush habitat to the even more elusive sage grouse. We learned that cheat grass may be taking over lands that are more heavily needed for sagebrush and sage grouse.


Our next destination on this day of adventure was of emotional significance to our amazing leader Angie. We felt honored that she shared this place with us, which could have only been appreciated in forty minutes of silence and reflection. It was only fitting that we have a heart-to-heart within the group, leaving behind seeds of what we hope to achieve in the metaphorical form of pinecones. We then were informed of the amazing geological importance of our landscape via our educated field instructor John Begay.

Next on Operation: Kaibab. The gang headed to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, where we were given the option of enduring the fulfilling 1.5 mile North Kaibab Hike or enjoying some quiet time with our thoughts and our sketchbooks. After our choose-your-own-adventure session, we gathered again for a well-earned pizza dinner while the sun blessed us with a symphony of colors in the sky as it set on another perfect day.  It was in the company of supporting peers where group members Ben and Walter mustered up the courage to play guitar for NorthRimHikeanyone and everyone willing to listen. By the end of the night, the pair had acquired a small audience of happy tourists, taking pictures for their own memoirs.

On our dreaded trek back to the vans, a few of us were fortunate enough in sneaking a peak through one of the many telescopes fixed on Saturn and 4 of its graceful moons. The drive back was filled with sleepy, but content, members, with a few wishing for more minutes in the presence of the majesty that is the Grand Canyon.


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