After settling into Phoenix, Sohail and his father rented a car and headed north to explore one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Here are Sohail’s notes and a few of his photos from that pre-ISEF adventure:

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Grand Canyon via Sedona Tour   [posted May 12th by S.A.]

Did you know the Grand Canyon is 1,902 sq miles (4,926 km²)! Thats approximately 4 and a half times bigger than Auckland city!

The tour was breath taking! We left the hotel at around 7 45 am and headed for Sedona to see the famous Red Rocks. What a beautiful sight it was! My favourite was the mountain named “Bell rock”. Named after its bell like shape. The red colour of the rock comes from the iron sediments turning into iron oxide when coming into contact with the air and water. The rust colour is absolutely gorgeous up close. We even spotted tourists attempting to climb Bell rock.

Next we stopped at a small restaurant for lunch and then headed up to the Grand Canyon. We drove up to an altitude of around 7000 ft and even the drive up to the rim of the Canyon was magnificent. We learned about the different eco systems between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon and saw many different cacti. Once we reached the first view point I was blown away.

Im usually a little bit scared of heights but that fear seemed to evaporate when I looked over the edge of the fence. I have never before seen such a beautiful natural feature in my life! The canyon is 1 mile deep and around 200 – 300 miles wide. I climbed up to the top of the watch tower and as I got higher and higher the view through the little windows got even better. I managed to take a 180 degree panorama shot of the canyon!

Our second stop around the rim of the Grand Canyon had an equally fabulous view. My favourite though was the walk from the third view point to the fourth. We were dropped off at the third view point and we got the chance to walk on a path along the rim of the Canyon to the fourth view point. I took some of my best photos from this path. As we walked further towards the fourth view point we got to see the Canyon from different angles and each new angle was more and more beautiful.

Click through for image source.

Click through for image source.Click through for image source.

It was a spectacular experience.

Tomorrow is the first day of the Intel Science and Engineering Fair. I’m very excited to meet students from all over the world and set up my project. Intel ISEF awaits …

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Tomorrow Sohail will talk about getting down to business in Phoenix and setting up his robot and display for ISEF judging.