Dreaming of unearthly lands
I was pushing a little too hard, trying to force a few design projects before the trip to the Grand Canyon. I had been working on a large typographic print that was fighting me. The more I tried, the more the design suffered. I almost did not go backpacking. I almost said I had too much work to do: a bad sign when the everpresent pull of work gets the better hand over the possibility of clearing the head in a world-renowned land.
Now, weeks later, on this stunningly bright afternoon after a long week, I am daydreaming of that hard, dry, cracked, broken, over-sized, spectacular, unearthly land. By the third night out we were in that headspace that renews, that sheds light on past experiences, that can only be found hiking for several days. No cellphones, no cars, no email. Most of the time, as we hiked, I was nervous that I might trip and slip and slide down a slope. Coming out of Boucher Creek, climbing up the steep incline and through the loose rocks, I knew our adventure was pure madness. I knew I was fated to slip and die there and then. If I had been alone, I would have turned around. I would have said no.
But no one tripped and fell hundreds and hundreds of feet, no one broke a leg, although the possibility was always there. The worst things were these: my half-sprained ankle and the enormous blisters on my feet. For a full day I limped along at the back of the line.
We easily survived; we easily lived to eat another hot meal graciously served to us by an enthusiastic young waitress at the lodge.
At the end of the hike, as we climbed out on the 4th day and pushed up the last few miles, half-smiling at those descending — with their clean clothes and nicely placed hair and full water bottles — my underlying thought was: "I want to stay, I want to experience more, I want another and another wildly windy night and another superbly cold morning perched on a dry mesa overlooking a deep and dark canyon."
My underlying thought was: "I want more."
So we'll be back. For now, I will daydream on this sun-filled, warm February porch. A hint of Spring adventure rides the slight breeze today.
We'll be back. Sooner rather than later. —2.06