Hiking at Grand Canyon
I nagged you incessantly to stop running, and stay on the path! Each time we approached the edge, my heart would pound. I felt most comfortable at the railings....
We wanted to sleep in a bit, but you were up by 7:00. By 8:30, we were at the South Kaibab Trailhead. Bill wore a backpack with three bottles of water--I thought we should have six--three granola bars, several Rice Krispy Treats, and several mini bags of chips.
I had been under the impression that this trail was not used by mules, but we quickly discovered that was not the case. Bill had to remind you to pay attention to where you walked instead of wildly dodging mule poo....
We stayed at Cedar Ridge for about 30 minutes before heading back up. We explored the entire ridge. We climbed out on a huge rock that jutted over the canyon. That made my heart thump. I was so worried about you.
We did very well on the return trip. You leaned on a small stick you had found, but about half of the time you were dragging it through the rocks behind you, or poking it in donkey poo. Bill spotted some donkeys coming up behind us, and we tried to stay ahead of them so we wouldn't have to smell fresh droppings. We climbed a little faster, but we had to keep taking breaks, and they were gaining on us steadily. As they got closer, you began to lag behind. It was obvious that you wanted them to catch up so we could see them better.
We were in sight of the top when they caught us. We stood in a sheltered corner while they passed. The last three switchbacks were indeed very smelly, but you seemed to enjoy exclaiming over the droppings. A couple of times, Bill even kicked some of it at you, which made you shriek and jump.
At last we made it to the top. I was so proud of us! We didn't even do much complaining. It was definitely worth the effort. The beauty was beyond compare.
Sunset at the Canyon
After our sunset jeep tour that evening, we found a big rock to sit on while we waited for the sunset at Grandview Point. It was peaceful and majestic, colors changing by the moment, gathered with people from all around the world, hearing... a HUGE fart! You lifted up one leg and let one rip!
"Ethan Montgomery!" I hollered, and hid my face. There were loud giggles all around. A German couple behind us said, "Big foof! Little boy!" Then, in broken English, they said that you had broken the rock; they pointed to all the cracks and laughed themselves silly.
Finally we were all quiet again as we watched the sun slip behind the trees. It was the most beautiful sunset I'd ever seen. I could scarcely tear myself away to ride back in the jeep.
We watched the colors change gradually from pink to yellow to orange. After about 30 minutes, the sun began to peep out from behind one of the ridges, framed between that ridge and another that was perpendicular to it. The crowd of people who had gathered sighed, "Ooh!"
We had our free breakfast and were back on the road by 8:00. We drove east on 64, then north on 160, through some of the most beautiful terrain imaginable. There were mountain ranges, canyons, and mesas, many beautifully colored. We were driving through the north part of the Painted Desert.
The Cheeseburger Story
Not long after breakfast, when we were far from civilization, you began to complain that you were hungry. What could you have? Bill told you he didn't want to hear it. "You know what there is: chips or Rice Krispy Treats."
You wanted something else. What else was there?
"Do you think I can just pull a cheeseburger out of my butt?" Bill asked.
"And if he could, would you eat it?" I asked.
"No!" you replied emphatically, "because I hate cheese!" We laughed so hard! I said that conversation would definitely go in the trip journal. It wasn't long before your next adventure that was journal-worthy.
We were just driving along quietly, with you playing your Gameboy, when you went berserk. You were scrambling around the backseat, terror in your eyes. "There's a bee!" you shouted. You said a bee had flown through the cracked front window and hit you in the forehead. You saw it, and it was... ALIVE!
Bill said there was no way a bee could have flown into that crack, but you were hysterical. So we stopped. You said the bee was on your pillow. I pulled your pillow out and examined it, then my pillow, too. I put both pillows in the trunk and convinced you to strap yourself back in.
We had driven less than a mile down the road when you started shouting again and even cried. "It's here!" you choked out. "See, I told you! It's right there!" You huddled against the door, as far as possible from the bee.
Bill pulled over again, and I crawled into the back to investigate. I finally saw the object of your terror: a common housefly! Bill flicked the fly out the door and told you to calm down, for Pete's sake! It took you several minutes to relax.
Mesa Verde National Park
While we were hiking in Mesa Verde Park, we were 8750 feet above sea level. The view was breathtaking. You could look into four states, and you could see mesas and mountains. On the way back down the path, you told us you had heard some rustling in the bushes. As you leaned over to point out the spot, Bill surreptitiously picked a long piece of straw with a fluffy tip. He sneaked up behind you and poked the fluffy tip into your neck. You should've seen yourself jump. After that, you picked your own piece of straw and tried to startle us with it, but you didn't have the necessary stealth.