The Silent Season

Bartletti is a staff photographer with the Orange County edition of The Times

The canyon was veiled in fog, the sky blurred with snowflakes and the view that of an eerie white void. It was also a time when shy mule deer emerged from what would be their summertime hiding places, when the terrain wasn't swarming with tourists and our family was able to reserve a coveted rim-side room at the Kachina Lodge only a week in advance--something that can take months during the summer.

Just as it was after the recent snowfall, the rim and walls were draped in white and silence. Our trip was in January of last year, and for my wife, daughter and me, it was an opportunity to join a smattering of hardy American and international travelers who each winter ignore the cold and wind and uncertainty of icy roads to explore the South Rim of the Grand Canyon after a snowfall. We were rewarded by an astonishing quiet in which even the crunch of footsteps along the frozen rim was muted by the powdering of newborn snow, an experience only possible for a few brief moments each year.

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