I spent this past weekend lecturing on the Grand Canyon in wonderful Santa Fe, New Mexico. Whenever I visit I am intrigued by the Spanish influence that dates back to the early 1500s. Their push northward out of Mexico was as bold as it was contentious. The treatment of the native peoples of the area left much to be desired. The Spanish were the first Europeans to view the Grand Canyon. An expeditionary party led by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas stepped up to the South Rim near modern day Moran Point in 1540 along with their Hopi guides. They were seeking a waterway to the Gulf of California as well as Cibola, the fabled seven cities of gold. According to their journals they were frustrated by the impenetrable obstacle; one that we know today as the Grand Canyon. They left empty handed as it were, tricked by the Hopi guides who had many ways into the canyon in the vicinity, but no desire to share them with these menacing guests.