Friday, January 7, 2011

I Almost Died at the Grand Canyon

Spoilers, I live.

Having family that lives over in Arizona means a lot of long trips and many hours in the car over the years.
One time, only one, we went to the Grand Canyon. When I think about it, it actually took us a long time to go. We would get so close to it every year or so. I got out of high school before we actually went down there.
(WARNING: actual beauty not included with picture)

It was beautiful. No words I have, or have ever heard, no picture I could draw, or have ever seen, can describe the beauty of that place. Ever step, every new angle was a snapshot I downloaded directly to my brain, never wanting to lose it.
I stood fearless atop ledges hundreds of feet above any possible ground and was speechless.

My brother joined me.
My brother and I don’t really get along all too well. It’s not awful, but its typically a joke at my expense. Our petty arguments were hushed immediately by the vastness before us. In a memory I’ll hold for the rest of my life, my brother and I stood together atop the Grand Canyon, smiling.
My father on the other hand could not even think to stand as we did. Just walking towards the ledge weakened his legs. I smile as I think back to how he looked at my fearless brother and me, pure shock across his face.
My brother and I wanted more.
There was so much beauty we had not seen, so much we wanted to find.
Our answer was a ledge. An outcrop several hundred feet down, and stretching out a ways over more of the Canyon obscured to our current view.
“Let’s go,” is all that had to be said before we bounded off towards it.
The climb was wonderful, albeit quite dangerous.

My brother and I took every little step one at a time. Each large fall we came across we navigated around, or found a pass through. This typically meant finding a fissure in the rock and parkouring down the cliff face.
Lots of jumping and sliding.

But we made it, all of parts intact. Walking out to the edge of that ledge was breath taking. A whole new world of beauty was waiting. We had really done something amazing.
Then we turned around.
My mouth simply swung open.

What had we just done? How were we going to get back up?
My brother and I laughed at how simple awestruck the two of us were.
We had just climbed down several hundred feet of what looked to be sheer cliff for most of it.
I closed my jaw though, having faith in myself. If we could climb down it, we could climb up it.
So we took it one step at a time.
Having two people was a real godsend actually. I could boost my brother up to a higher ledge, and he could pull me up after. Though that was by far the scariest moment of the whole trip. As I latched my arms onto my brothers outstretched hands I knew that this is where we could die. I had no support, everything was resting on my brother. If he leaned, we fell. If he was just a little bit too weak, we fell. If he sneezed, we probably fell. 

But we didn't. 
talk about putting your life in someone else's hands, literally.
Next thing we knew we were back near the top of the canyon. My father calling down to us in shock and disbelief at what we had just done.

Another family moment for the books, and another great accomplishment in my life. 
Not to mention it didn't kill me,
which I'm just going to say is a plus in my book.