In spite of being one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World,” humans have not always seen the Grand Canyon in a positive light. First seen by Europeans in the year 1540, the canyon was not comprehended easily. Throughout the entire exploratory era (lasting nearly 320 years) conquistadores, explorers, trappers, and miners viewed the canyon as an obstacle to travel or even useless. None of these early visitors ever returned a second time. However, when the first geologist laid eyes on it in 1857, he issued a siren call to humanity that it was something quite special on our planet. Every geologist who followed returned again, announcing to the world that the Grand Canyon was to be revered. Wayne Ranney, an Arizona Humanities speaker for eight years, is a kindred spirit as a geologist, author, river and trail guide on the Colorado Plateau. A former back country ranger in the Grand Canyon, Wayne earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Northern Arizona University in geology. Wayne is a geologic lecturer with travels to Antarctica, Africa, the Amazon, Greenland, Siberia, and the North and South Poles to name a few locations among 85 countries. He is still active as a river and trail guide in the Grand Canyon for the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute and Museum of Northern Arizona. He leads field trips throughout the American Southwest and is the author of ten books and a contributing writer for various magazines.