Depends how close he was to the canyon, though. This is a big, big desert we're talking--it occupies half of the Western Continent, after all--so there might be an awful lot of windy canyons around the place. I'm pretty sure it was stated that Nale and Tarquin took years finding the place, and think of the amount of resources they could bring to bear on the project; Soon would not be able to do that halfway across the world from his base of operations.