Saturday, November 7, 2009

What To Expect at the GC Saturday

I'm going to a bit of trouble to see the Grand Canyon. It's four
hours from Phoenix, and there's no cheap hotels near it. So I am
staying midway in Flagstaff. That means getting up as early as
possible to make it there with enough time to hike a bit and then
drive back to Phoenix to return the rental car at a very solid
deadline (you pay for entire extra days not hours). I am not good at
getting up early, but it's the Grand Canyon!

My most extensive hiking at GC was when I was 19. I wanted to go to
the beach for Spring Break. Everybody else wanted GC. I've seen
small ditches before; I can imagine a big one, was my thinking. 5 of
us piled to Brad's Mom's car and drove from Norman, OK to the GC. Brad
briefly picked up a hitchhiker, so with six of us, Kim had to sit on
my lap (in the most decent manner possible - church lap).

I was amazed at how the views kept changing as we went down and the
vastness was more than I could comprehend. My spirits lifted. It was a
very tough time, and I needed some lifting. We got halfway down, and a
couple of us thought we could make it down and back up in a day (never
mind the signs saying not to attempt this under any circumstances).
However, it was obvious that the group as a whole was barely going to
make it back up. It's not good to be semi-delirious on narrow paths
with big dropoffs one guy discovered: I'll walk on the edge-it's so
much smoother.

Well, I don't have the same mental and physical stamina I did 13 years
ago. And I have a rental car to return and night's sleep to have
before driving to Albuquerque on Monday.
So can this little jaunt by myself meet my expectations?
I'd prefer to not have expectations, like the first time, but even my
memory is not that bad (for that time period anyway). We'll see.

Phoenix has a big airport. I had to tell Lisa to pick me up at
Terminal 3 on the North side, which was completely out of vie of the
South side. We went to Sonic because we couldn't think of anything
else. She is excited about moving back East.
I remembered I needed a belt after we left Durham, so we stopped at
the Clothes Depot in what seems roughly equivalent to the Holloway
street area of Durham. I ended with a belt, a buckle that is either a
gang sign or a sports team emblem (I'm not really current on either),
some cheap gloves (another thing I forgot) and 3 T-shirts for $9.99.
They are nice shirts, for me, but that just means they aren't free and
emblazoned with a corporate logo.

We then drove to the car rental place, which is as big as the
Greensboro airport. You could hold concerts in there or put in a full
sized basketball court. I had to wait until 8:30 pm because the due
time is 24.45 hours after the rental time.


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