Foggy Grand Canyon

Photo: Erin Whittaker/National Park Service

Better than rampant consumerism?

As thousands across the country lined up for Black Friday madness, park rangers and tourists at the Grand Canyon lined up along Mather Point to witness a rare cloud inversion.

Word of the stunning sight spread like wildfire — park rangers and staff dashed to the rim to gape and take photos. While some tourists thought the fog was a normal weather pattern and were disappointed that they couldn't see the Colorado River, park rangers actually wait years to witness this rare meteorological phenomenon.

"We are currently experiencing an after Thanksgiving treat," said Erin Whittaker, a park ranger who witnessed and captured these photos. "No, it's not more pumpkin pie. It's a once in a lifetime, outstanding, crazy, amazing, mind blowing inversion. "

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Cloud waterfall in the Grand Canyon

Photo: Erin Whittaker/National Park Service

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Sea of clouds obscuring the Grand Canyon

Photo: Erin Whittaker/National Park Service

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Frosty cloud inversion in the Grand Canyon

Photo: Erin Whittaker/National Park Service

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.