Yesterday afternoon, after all the driving, setting up, dog walking, water drinking, nodding and uh-huh-ing, we dashed to the canyon rim, for the first time in two years. At first glimpse I predictably began to weep. But geeze, enough of that already. I said something silly like, "Hi Honey" to the Grand Canyon, and handed Rick the camera to snap my picture. Too long away, and still she waited for us. I can't get over how much I love this place, no matter how many times I come back.
Unpredictably, I have cell phone service here for the first time ever, and wifi at all the lodges. Amazing. I can be connected when I want to, or not... My phone will stay in the trailer, and I won't be sitting on my computer like an expectant condor every minute of the day, but I can at least keep you posted, which is a part of my "job" I really like. Of course I also think it would be a cool job to be the Condor Lady. Wonder how I can get that gig. Not sure I'm park ranger material.
We have a perfect spot in the trailer village, up high, and at the end of the row. Neighbors aren't too close, and there's lots of room to walk the dogs. Well exercised dogs are happy, well behaved dogs, so this morning we got up early and headed out, each with a coffee mug in one hand and a leash in the other. Two and a half hours later we realized we'd gotten a little carried away. Five miles on the rim was more than we'd meant to go, since we were also planning to hike a ways into the canyon today.
Gathering our backpacks, and tucking the exhausted dogs into the air conditioned trailer, we headed back out toward the Bright Angel trail. Everywhere we go is a long walk of a half mile or more, but we've decided to try to leave the truck parked as much as possible. We pretty much dragged ourselves a humblingly (it's a word...) short distance down into the canyon and back out, sharing the trail with mules and jittery tour bus ladies in slippery sandals, who hugged the wall at every step. Tomorrow we think we'll go a little farther in, and then a little more each day. The goal is to get to Plateau Point and back in a day. I don't know if I can do it, but I have nothing better to do than try.
My office today is the porch of the 100 year old El Tovar Hotel. I'm on a big porch swing in the shade, with a view of the canyon in front of me, and Hopi dancers to the right. It's pretty close to perfect. I'll have to move into the hotel lobby to post this, and then there's a nice cold beer waiting for me on the other porch. I feel like we've earned it today. But the best part is, it doesn't matter if we've earned it or not. Life is good at Grand Canyon. Wish you were here!