Hikers write love notes to the Grand Canyon: NPR



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National Park Keeper Elyssa Shalla placed a $ 5 Goodwill typewriter at Plateau Point in the Grand Canyon and invited hikers to share their thoughts.

Elyssa Shalla


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Elyssa Shalla

National Park Keeper Elyssa Shalla placed a $ 5 Goodwill typewriter at Plateau Point in the Grand Canyon and invited hikers to share their thoughts.

Elyssa Shalla

Grand Canyon National Park, created 100 years ago, now welcomes nearly 5 million visitors each year.

In late 2017 and early 2018, for three days, some of these visitors encountered something unusual after a 10-kilometer hike up to a scenic point of view: a $ 5 Goodwill typewriter and a note.

Dear hiker, welcome to Plateau Point. You have come a long way. Please sit on the chair and relax. Look around you. Take it all inside. What does this moment mean to you?

This project was designed by Elyssa Shalla, a national park ranger.

"I wanted to put a typewriter and see what would happen when visitors would have seen it," she says.

The typewriter was carried in a backpack during a hike that descended 3,000 vertical feet to the heart of the Grand Canyon.

Elyssa Shalla


hide legend

toggle the legend

Elyssa Shalla

The typewriter was carried in a backpack during a hike that descended 3,000 vertical feet to the heart of the Grand Canyon.

Elyssa Shalla

In three days, says Shalla, hikers left 76 messages, which became the Towers & Type project.

"oh so many miles / blisters never do [me smile] I really tighten my style. "

"For me, it's a geological pilgrimage and a reminder of what my body can do, and for all that, I'm grateful, especially because I can share it with my father."

"Hearing the words" Grand Canyon "and experiencing it for the first time, I realize that the term" Great "falls away. [short] what is this place [truly] represents: perfection. "

For Shalla, notes show that "parks are really powerful places".

"We need to offer more opportunities to give people the chance to stop, think and feel at the same time, then give them a platform to share their experiences," he said. she declared. "It's one of the best things we can do in our national parks."

You can see more little love letters at the Grand Canyon at Towers & Type Project.

The broadcast version of this story was produced by Natalie Brennan and edited by Selena Simmons-Duffin.

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