Cheryl Hartz takes photos along the beginning of the Trail of Time at the Grand Canyon. Photo by Myron Hartz.
It's bizarre when your kids come to Arizona to see snow, especially when they live in Iowa and Oregon. We thought we'd get some new hikes in when the kids were home for Christmas, but snow and cold kept us from going too far. We did walk around the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park for three hours, after a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway out of Williams.
We never get tired of the Grand Canyon, and this time we checked out the Trail of Time.
The interpretive walking timeline focuses on Grand Canyon vistas and rocks over a period of millions of years, with invitations to touch the rocks and match the vistas with the geologic timeline. Every meter a brass marker represents another million years, so if you take looong steps, you've covered a million years with each one. A pretty easy way to time travel. And even if you're not into geology, it's interesting to ponder.
Ironically, right after that trip, we learned The Trail of Time had won first place in the Wayside Exhibit category from the National Association for Interpretation. The category is for exhibits where a ranger is not physically present to help visitors understand it.
University of New Mexico Geology Professor Karl Karlstrom proposed the trail in 1995, and it was completed in 2010 using an Informal Education Grant from the National Science Foundation. The Trail of Time was a collaborative effort between the National Park Service, the University of New Mexico, Arizona State University, the University of Massachusetts and the National Science Foundation.
The National Association for Interpretation is a not-for-profit professional association whose membership is involved in the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources in settings such as parks, zoos, museums, nature centers, aquaria, botanical gardens, and historic sites.