We are losing our special places where nature reigns, the places where we can understand ourselves as part of nature. The Grand Canyon is a site where profound connections are made. The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, I knew I couldn’t leave until I walked down to the river. I was lucky to get a permit, and there was room for me to stay overnight at Bright Angel Campground. My walk down to the river was revelatory. Starting at dawn, I descending deeper into the canyon. I’ll never forget the first time I finally glimpsed the river, but it was HEARING the river from afar that truly made me understand how vast the space of the canyon is. When I reached the water, I understood myself as a pilgrim, and I knew I would be back again. A year later, I walked from the South Rim to the North rim in a day and walked back to the South Rim the next day. My Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim crossing of the Grand Canyon was a life-altering experience. I still get chills when I think of it. To experience the scale of such a place by traversing it on one’s own two feet is unparalleled. It is true that not everyone is capable of having experiences like this due to physical limitations, but the fact is, the experience was what it was because of HOW it was done as much as where it took place. I believe that nature of all kinds but especially nature as profound as the Grand Canyon should be left to itself and to those who can get there on their feet, and all who are capable should tread lightly. PLEASE reject the Grand Canyon Escalade Project.

-Corrina Peipon