Marvelous Marv’s

GRAND CANYON TOURS

Arizona’s Grand Canyon became a National Park in…

1919

“The one great site every American should see!”
– Theodore Roosevelt

“In the Grand Canyon,” Roosevelt said, “Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”

But hotels were built. And automobiles and Marvelous Marv arrived!

Because the Grand Canyon is the only natural wonder of the world located in the continental United States, it is an intriguing international travel destination. Grand Canyon National Park is a World Heritage Site administered under the auspices of the United Nations and regulated by the U.S. Department of Interior under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Over-regulation has fostered the development of traffic patterns and transportation systems purportedly designed to efficiently accommodate the annual visitor population of five million.

Currently 24 overcrowded shuttle busses operate in the park and transport the public within a eight square mile administrative area (the village loop and the Canyon View Information Plaza also known as the new visitor’s center) with two additional routes serving the popular Hermit Road (9 mile scenic route one way) and Yaki Point (4 miles one way to the head of Kaibab trail, a canyon corridor hiking trail).

Avoid this!

Most day visitors travel by private vehicle (embarking on a parking experience rather than a park experience) or they buy a ticket for what they expect to be a ride on a historic train from Williams through the Kaibab National Forest along the plateau to the rim of the canyon (however the historic steam engine is used only from May to October, thereafter it is diesel season, and at best, the 60 mile train trip lasts three hours at 27 miles per hour) .

These factors leave most visitors confused, bewildered, unhappy and frustrated.

Forward thinking guests of the Grand Canyon book a private tour with us!

What you will experience on your Grand Canyon Tour with Marvelous Marv and Magnificent Maggie

Our guests are entertained with facts and figures concerning the Grand Canyon touching on cultural history, physical history, geology, anthropology, biology (flora and fauna), bio-diversity and more, all combined with a unique brand of western humor that only we can wield.

As our guests, you will ride in a clean, luxury, 12-passenger vans equipped with public address system and air conditioning. Our Mission is to educate and inform our guests of the wonders of this national treasure and to enlist the support of others concerned with protecting our national heritage.

All of this for a nominal fee which entails a full day of touring, talking, educating, question and answer period, lunch at the Maswik Food Court and Pizza Pub, a full service cafeteria with no tipping required (lunch is on your own but we do accompany you – We seldom leave the tour group except to park the vehicle in little known parking areas and to pick you up at convenient pre-designated spots so you never get lost). There is a shopping opportunity at the Village on the South Rim and for those who wish, a short hiking excursion along the rim trail or into the canyon a short distance along the Bright Angel Trail as weather and the press of visitor population permits. The altitude (7000 feet) and the dry climate can be daunting to those guests from sea level however, we watch out for your well-being, taking special precautions for the accompanied mentally and physically impaired guest, the young, and the elderly (please note that we are not handicapped accessible although seeing eye-dogs are allowed and ultimately one is responsible for one’s own safety). After a full day on tour the guest is soothed via audio cassette with native American flute music inspired by the sights and sounds of the canyon, or video entertainment during the van ride back to the point of departure in Williams or Tusayan, Arizona.

A little known fact about the Grand Canyon…

The average stay in the Park by the average tourist is 4 hrs. The average time the average tourist looks at the Grand Canyon is only 17 minutes! I DO NOT recommend the train ride to the Grand Canyon from Williams! The Railway just sold to corporate interests and will change drastically in the near future!  The train is just transportation and not the way to ‘experience’ the Grand Canyon. I do not recommend the Skywalk of West Grand Canyon.

Truly see and learn about the Grand Canyon with me and don’t just look over the edge!!

We take:
CASH ♦ PERSONAL CHECKS ♦ CREDIT CARDS
We charge a $25 service fee for credit card payments.

Here is just a small portion of what you will learn with us while on tour…

Gazing into the majestic Grand Canyon, awe-struck visitors inevitably ask: “How old is it?”

Far older than generally thought, says new evidence that scientists culled from caves lining the canyon’s red limestone cliffs. The Grand Canyon often is referred to as about 6 million years old — but its western half actually began to open at least 17 million years ago, a University of New Mexico team reports Friday in the journal Science.

Wait: The western side of the canyon is the downstream end of the Colorado River, so how could it be older than the arguably more spectacular eastern side?

Remember, geologists caution, that the Grand Canyon was carved from drainage systems that didn’t turn into the single river we now know as the Colorado until roughly 6 million years ago. The new research suggests two canyons formed that eventually joined. And it makes sense that the older side would even look different, less jagged, thanks to more years of gravity and wind erosion to soften its edges.

“This is really exciting for those of us who work in the stories and theories of how the Grand Canyon has evolved,” Arizona geologist Wayne Ranney, author of “Carving the Grand Canyon,” said of the new work. “This paper helps us to more clearly understand that different parts of the canyon formed at different times. That’s how big the Grand Canyon is.”

How and when the Grand Canyon formed has been a question of both geologists and average visitors since John Wesley Powell’s famous first expedition in 1869.

Dating the canyon’s carving has been difficult because it has largely depended on evidence from exposed rock and mineral deposits that themselves erode over time.

The University of New Mexico team tried a new technique: Testing formations inside the numerous caves that line the Grand Canyon — protected formations less susceptible to erosion — that form at the water table. So cave specialist Carol Hill said they should provide a record of how the water table dropped over time as the canyon was cut deeper and deeper.

First Hill and colleagues made the grueling climbs to cull the formations from caves in 10 different spots along the length of the Grand Canyon. Then came work in specialized labs to pin down the age of each formation, using a method called uranium-lead isotope testing.

The findings: The western side of what is now the Grand Canyon started forming about 17 million years ago, and that initial erosion was fairly slow and steady — a couple of inches every thousand years.

The canyon formed not just downward and westward but it opened steadily to the east, too, through what geologists call “headward erosion,” the team reports — until the western side cut through enough rock to meet water on the eastern side, around 5 to 6 million years ago.

Then the action really started, with the eastern side of the canyon being cut at a rate of about 8 inches to almost a foot every thousand years, they report.

Why the speedup? The new research can’t say exactly, but Ranney notes that land mass was shifting around a lot during this period, too, heaving some sections of rock and lowering others. The Hurricane and Toroweap faults in the western Grand Canyon dropped enough to essentially form a waterfall, speeding water flow enough that the eastern side was being ripped as the river plunged to the west, he explained.

While geologists point to some questions in the new research, overall it does fit with various theories about how the Grand Canyon formed, said Rebecca Fowler of the University of Colorado, Boulder, who also studies the Grand Canyon.

“All of it is pointing toward a pretty complex history of Grand Canyon development, which is one of the reasons this area has been so controversial,” she said. “It’s a pretty complicated system and it’s very likely that the entire Grand Canyon did not incise (cut) all at one time.”

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Email: marv@marvelousmarv.com

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