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Hungry for more stories on science, culture and technology?Check out Brain Food: Insights and Discoveries from Northern Arizona. From ground breaking scientific research to global music projects, Brain Food profiles some of the unique projects happening in the region and the interesting people behind them. While there are no new episodes of Brain Food, we will continue to maintain the archive here.

Brain Food: First Time at the Grand Canyon


Millions of people visit the Grand Canyon every year. It can be an awe-inspiring experience, especially for those seeing it for the first time. At the Canyon’s South Rim, Louis Le Clair of British Columbia stands in amazement of the Grand Canyon’s majesty and magnitude.

“One of the thoughts that I had was that, you go to Egypt and see the pyramids and those pyramids were built by people, but you look at the Grand Canyon and nobody had to build it, and it’s just as spectacular. So, that was something that really hit me, it’s the size and the beauty and the natural beauty of the place,” she says.

Credit Bonnie Stevens
The Grand Canyon continues to inspire even those very familiar with its ancient vistas like NAU researchers Stefan and Abe Springer.

Troy Johnson of Seattle, Wash., says the Grand Canyon is something you hear about and see in pictures, but you don’t experience the nuances and ever-changing details until you see it in person.

“We’ve noticed that today as the sun moves across or the clouds comes, the colors of the Canyon change from a beautiful brown and green and gray. And then when you look down, when you’re looking down at the forest down below, and the greens come out really strong in the daytime and they just sort of melt away in the evening and add in a sunset, then, on the Grand Canyon then is just really almost beyond words,” he says.

Credit Bonnie Stevens

For brothers Brad and John Steinmetz of Wisconsin, the view is humbling.

“It’s truly, it’s incredible to see how massive it is. I mean, I always see pictures of it and I think it can’t be that amazing and grand, but then walking up to the edge for the first time to see it, it really puts it in perspective just how big it is. It’s incredible ... and it’s also really cool to see all the possibilities for adventure.”

Reflections from visitors serve as reminders of the natural wonder in northern Arizona’s backyard. The Grand Canyon offers not only beauty, but inspiration, adventure and scientific discovery.

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