“Come on ...”
My thoughts, though not manifesting themselves into words, are directed at the driver of the shuttle bus hauling us to the head of the South Kaibab trail here at the Grand Canyon.
I’ve had my healthy breakfast, complete with an edge of caffeine. I’ve ridden the shuttle all the way here to the visitors’ center. The other five in our group left a while ago to start down the trail. Now I’m chomping at the bit to begin.
It is 12:05 p.m. when I get to the South Kaibab trail head at the rim of one of the seven wonders of the world. Without wasting time trying to wax eloquent about the Grand Canyon, let me just say this to those who haven’t seen it. The pictures are awe inspiring. However, they do not do justice to standing on the edge and gazing at this yawning, colorful expanse.
Today I’m in a hurry though. The others left a while ago and I’m afraid I won’t catch up on the way down. I start hustling down, jogging sometimes down the steps of the switchbacks. Soon a sweat forms. The weather here in Arizona is warm, unlike the climate we left in ... no, we’re not going to discuss that.
Soon the others appear ahead of me on the trail. Dad, Mom, sister Emily, her friend Esther Lehman and Dad’s right-hand man, Owen Yoder, are strung out along the trail. Dad had surgery on his leg a week ago, now he’s hiking this seven-mile trail into the Grand Canyon. He’s either reckless or brave, but I am glad he decided to do it. At least he and Mom are moving at a fairly methodical pace.
Their pace allows us younger four to kill some time. We stop about two-thirds of the way down on a kitchen-table-sized rock overlooking the Colorado River and play a game of Rook.