What struck me this time, however, is that sometimes location does matter.
I’m not a travel writer. By most people’s assessment, our family doesn’t go any place that exotic. Someone did tell Sonia that we take interesting trips and I appreciated the sentiment. Sure, we do odd things, but we’re talking odd by “acceptable” standards. We weren’t drinking jack rabbit blood in the Mojave Desert or exploring the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia.
What I DID on my summer vacation is fairly well documented. Learning is the superior step in the progression. This isn’t meant to teach or moralize necessarily. Some of the things I learned are somewhat important, but others just make me go, “oh.”
Phooey. Drat. Fiddlesticks. Those were Sonia’s words. It would be better for the blog if I don’t print my words. To paraphrase Tim O’brien, we had a detour on the road to Paris. Not awful, but not on the itinerary. Time to devise the infamous back-up plan.
Meanwhile, we bumped into our NJ friends, and they weren’t doing so hot. Victoria looked like ten pounds of shit stuffed in a five pound bag (I stole that line from a book entitled Running with the Buffaloes, and wish I could use it with greater frequency).
I woke up at 2:45 AM to the smell of BBQ, which is not a great thing BEFORE sunrise at a national park. I took a stroll through the campground to make sure that we weren’t on the menu for later in the morning.
Andrew got pissed. Andrew let me know that we had one job to do – out hike the Montana yuppies at all cost. Andrew and I “speed hiked” the entire return trip. We passed them up, and the man then tried to keep up with us. We left him in our dust. It doesn’t matter ethnicity, gender, or other background. A spoilt brat is spoilt brat, and that guy deserved a paddling.
Heading to the Grand Canyon is a unique experience, at least for me. We took our family in 2015, and did a five mile hike on the Bright Angel Trail, starting from the south rim. Upon seeing the canyon, I was filled with several emotions. Amazement. Awe. Inspiration. Respect. FEAR.