It Changed Me Forever

Canyon Gold | Ken Neubecker

I first hiked the Canyon in 1983. It changed me forever. It is a desert environment not unlike many other places; but the Canyon is somehow very different from any.other.place.on.Earth. From the air and from the rim, its grandeur is jaw-dropping to be sure. But below the rim, everything changes. I have no words to adequately describe it. I’ve never heard or read anything that adequately describes it. The Canyon is a place of profound spirituality. Once experienced, it’s felt forever. Please do not think that by constructing a tram and tourist facility that everyone then will be afforded the opportunity to experience that spirituality. The presence of a tram, tourist facilities, and up to 10,000 people a day at the Confluence will not afford them an opportunity to experience the spiritual influence of the Canyon–it will destroy it. The noise alone would impact that section of the Canyon for miles; the physical impact alone of that many people would in all likelihood cause permanent physical damage; the visual pact of the development alone would forever change the landscape; the possible impact downriver is unimanginable. Together, these factors would utterly destroy the life-changing experience that is Grand Canyon. It would be lost. Forever. Never to be reclaimed. Ever. Those visiting the development and riding the team to river level will not experience the Canyon; they will see it–they will not experience what now exists there because what exists there now will be lost. It will be lost not only to them, but to anyone and everyone using the river. It will become that which it is intended to be: A tourist attraction. This sacred place deserves respect. It deserves everyone’s respect. It deserves protection. Please consider these words. Please consider their meaning. Please consider the gravity of your decision.

-Pat Perett