From a fluke of cartography to a fluke of geology
October 18, 2012 5:20 PM Subscribe
posted by Ickster (12 comments total)
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A beautifully written saga of a long-distance traveler's in-progress kayak journey from the Northwest Angle to Key West
From the About
page: A long time ago, in a parking lot on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, my mom and I were about to begin a hike that would take us down to the bottom of the canyon, across the Colorado River, and up the other side. In four days, we’d be on the distant South Rim.
I tried to quit before we started. I didn’t want to leave the parking lot. My mom handed me the keys to the car and $100.
“I’m going,” she said. “If you don’t want to come with me, here’s some money for food. Sleep in the car. I’ll be back in a few days.”
I was eleven years old.
So I went. I followed my mom beneath the canyon’s rim. I remember the heat most of all. It felt like an oven and wrung sweat from my skin. We joked about baking cookies on the rocks. I vomited from exhaustion halfway through and the taste lingered in my mouth for hours.
My mom carried my pack on top of hers as we climbed switchbacks up the south wall of the canyon. I trailed behind her with my burning and my lungs sucking air. Then we were there; we’d made it across. My mom grabbed me in her arms and gave me a huge hug.
I remember looking back at the North Rim from the South. The gaping maw of the canyon opened up before us with specks of buildings clinging to the far edge. I thought about where we had been four days earlier and our car parked among those distant specks. We’d done more than hike a trail. We’d moved across the earth.
Perhaps it was then that I became a long-distance traveler.
(Via the always fantastic News Cut