|Me in the Moon Room, Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge|
It’s haunting up here in April, especially since this was likely to be my last chance. Jess is moving on to a new challenge, at Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa. She texted last month, inviting me to “help” her move out of her North Rim Grand Canyon home. The word is in quotes because, though we both know I’m happy to help, we also know that spending a few days at GCNR before opening on May 15 is a rare privilege indeed. I told her I might just bring a camera.
|Last Light at Bright Angel Point|
We met in Flagstaff and I followed her up. She was kind enough to slow down a bit, knowing that I drive like your grandmother.
Spring is windy in Arizona, and the last trip up this way the gusts were a bit troublesome in the camper so I was that much more grateful to stay in her house on, as luck would have it, the leeward side of the building.
This visit was complex for her, with all the mental-emotional work involved in a big life transition, moving tasks, and the need to work remotely for her new position. While she was working, I walked, sometimes with her irresistible rescue dog. His name requires its own sentence; “El Perro Negro de la Paz but you can call me Earl.” Which I did. I always miss my Luna when I travel without her, so I was grateful for the dog therapy.
Each time I walked alone, I found myself sitting for a longish time, looking at the canyon from the Transept, Ken Patrick, or Widforss Trail, and not just because the altitude was whipping my butt. This was more sitting than usual. It occurred to me that I was sitting until I no longer took the canyon for granted. I love this place, and of course I’ll be back, but perhaps never in April.
One afternoon I was nursing my wind-chapped face and having lunch at Jess’ house. Part of her work for that afternoon was writing study questions for videos about the complex and shocking history of Effigy Mounds. Outside Magazine covered the story last year. Like most places, the more you learn, the more you want to experience the place. And I can’t wait to see what Jess brings to the healing of Effigy Mounds.
Just Like Grand Canyon North Rim.
More images are in the Grand Canyon Gallery on the website.