Sunday, February 05, 2006

west rim

Much colder this morning than yesterday, although yesterday froze our toes. This morning the wind was so strong that it was very difficult to leave my hands exposed long enough to take pictures. Yesterday, before Jack knew what was in store, it was very difficult to rouse him at 6:30 in the morning. Today he was practically shouting in my ear, “Dad, get up, it’s starting to get light.” He didn’t want to miss the light and shadow show, nor did I. We put on all the clothes we had, complete with hoodies engaged, and gloves, and watched the sun cast it’s magic while fighting off the bitter wind.
Once the sun had come up, we found coffee and hot chocolate, and attempted to warm up our core. Though piping hot, by the time it had passed through the icy esophagus, it didn’t do much to warm the belly. So we froze out, went back to the room and packed up, cleaned, checked out of our room, and loaded the car.
We decided to head west along the rim this time, and visit popular vantage points that we hadn’t seen yet. We went along Hermit Road to Hermit’s rest where we found a fire, and Jack bought gifts for a few close friends. Along the way, we saw some of the most spectacular views so far. Sheer drops of 3000 feet and the Colorado River rapids in the distance. Ravens soared beneath and above us in the biting wind.
By the time we reached Hermit’s Rest, our bellies were beginning to growl. The canyon continues 95 miles west from where we were, ha, so we decided to head back to Bright Angel Restaurant to remedy the situation. Wrangler’s spicy chili in a sourdough bowl for me, turkey sandwich on toast for Jack.
We stopped in the gift shop for one more thing for Mom, before climbing in the car and heading back toward Phoenix. We’d decided we’d like to experience some more of Arizona in the daylight. It was a wise decision, as we traveled straight, flat roads at 8,000 feet and watched the mountains looming large in the distance, capped with snow. It was a beautiful ride and we arrived in Phoenix just after dark, grabbed a hotel and watched what was left of the Pittsburgh victory before becoming heavy-eyed. I made first contact with Allison since I’d left Flagstaff Friday night. It felt good to read her text and finally hear her voice. I wonder if a son realizes he has only half a dad when his mom’s not along.