Everything is still. The junipers and pinons rustle in the breeze. The sand remains motionless as a lizard scurries over it, then disappears into it’s hole. The sun bakes my skin and the tan Navajo sandstone as it rests high in the cloudless blue cerulean sky. Yes, this is natural beauty at it’s finest, but unfortunately many people will not get to witness this paradise such as I have. I believe to keep this natural beauty our society must be more conscious as a whole towards the environment.

Traveling through a canyon for 10 days and not seeing a single person besides my group instills a sense of lifelessness in this landscape. The canyon walls have been constructed and weathered over millions of years, which creates some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. The seas of boiling sand sink under our footsteps, slowing us down as we trek through 700 foot canyon walls. An occasional breeze will grace this landscape, which whisks some of the sweat off my body. The only surviving thing in this atmosphere are the limited flora and fauna that live on the desert floor.

If we continue down the road of destroying many ecosystems throughout the world, will place such as this canyon last for others to see it?

In the Spiral of Life, Tom Fleischner quotes, “Our society provides no formal system of devotion to the living, breathing world around us.” As an environmental scientist in the making, I truly believe these hidden wonders of the world must be preserved to the best of our ability. If we treat nature with respect, then we will be able to gain knowledge and experience gems such as I am undergoing from Horseshoe Canyon.