Hi, everyone. Well, I'm back from my adventure. Brian and I rolled into Charlotte about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. We left the Chateau Marley in ABQ about 11 on Tuesday am, and then drove straight through to good ol' NC. I'm happy to be home, but I must admit it's going to be a bit of a challenge re-integrating into society. 6 weeks of living in the truck, boating, climbing, hiking, running, and just generally having the time of my life went WAY too fast. It's funny how words can escape us when we need them the most. I've been trying to think of the words to describe a 16 day trip down the Grand Canyon, and quite frankly there just are no words that can do this trip justice. The Canyon is a special place- and not to go all touchy-feely on you- it is a spiritual place. The experience of waking up each day to the most beautiful thing you have ever seen defies description. In an effort to do the trip some justice, I'll just share a few pics with you.
View from a hike a long the Little Colorado where it dumps into the Grand.
One of the many critters who shared some space with us.
Looking out into the canyon from one of the side hikes we did.
Zeke and Pat floating through a narrow spot.
As we floated the last two miles to the take out, a big horn sheep strolled down from the canyon wall to check us out. As I paddled back upstream to get a picture of him, he stepped out onto an outcropping and looked closely at me. It was a powerful moment. I felt as if he was silhouetting himself for my camera as one final parting gift from the Canyon. He waited patiently for me to fumble through my drybag and find my camera.
The splendor of this giant critter against the backdrop of the canyon made it even harder for me to turn my boat downstream and head back into the world. I do know this though: I will be back each time I have the chance.
I learned many things from this trip, and the amazing group of people who went with me helped me create memories that I will think of often in the future. But, the most striking thing I learned from this trip is that I finally have begun to understand what Thoreau meant when he wrote about going to the woods to live deliberately. The moments we have are fleeting and time is short, but if we drink deeply from every moment we can savor our experiences for a lifetime.