Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ode To Brighty

The life-sized bronze statue of Brighty
that sits in the lodge 

By Kitson

Have you ever read Marguerite Henry’s 1953wonderful children’s book, Brighty of the Grand Canyon?

Last Friday, my family and I drove through the incredible Kaibab National Forest in Arizona and, after going up and up and up, we arrived at the Grand Canyon’s breezy North Rim. While the great heights delighted my boys and terrified me, I found a friend up there! I never knew that my old pal Brighty actually lived on the North Rim.

Brighty was given the name Bright Angel after the creek that flowed into the canyon from his home on the North Rim (where he lived from 1892 to 1922). He carried spring water up the steep trail from the creek for visitors during the summers and gave rides to children. But really he was a wild burro who roamed the canyon. According to the National Park Service brochure, many of the facts in Henry's book are true: he was the first to cross the bridge at the bottom of the canyon, and he did meet Theodore Roosevelt. I heart Brighty!

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