Go West Old Men: A Travel Memoir. Part 2

EDITOR’S NOTE: My original plans were to publish this as a travel memoir. I may still. For now, I’ll be writing about the trip in Friday installments.

Why I Needed to Make This Trip

Around the time I was getting ready to turn fifty-five, I wrote a bucket list for my blog. On the list was “Hike the Canyon.”

All those years later, it was still something that I wanted to do. I’d just never made it back.

I started talking to Scott about maybe going when we turned sixty. But it wasn’t long after that when we realized that we were probably beyond the ability to hike from rim to rim. That applies to me more than Scott, but we’ve both had our health challenges.

We started looking at rafting trips, a decent possibility, but not inexpensive. We also looked at a hike in to Havasu Falls, but ended up setting that aside as well.

Around the time of the pandemic, Scott contacted me and said we should put this on the calendar. I don’t think at the time either of us knew exactly what that would mean. I told him I’d be happy to drive my electric scooter up to the rim and look over the edge.

It wasn’t quite that bad.

We decided to go in the late summer of August, 2022. But in the midst of COVID, I went through what I labeled as The Late Great Unpleasantness of 2022 (™). I was diagnosed with, and treated for, prostate cancer. My second round with the C-Beast. We delayed the trip once more, but started to nail down the August 2023 dates.

My desire to go back to the Canyon all started with that mission trip in the summer of 1980. I was young and I had lots of things to dream about.

Around the same time, I was also convincing myself that I could hike the Appalachian Trail. My hometown is one of the major checkpoints along that trail and I’d hiked through parts of it in our county. I grew up seeing hikers making their way to the hostel at the Catholic Church. Plus, I had a high school friend who was making the trip.

Anyone who knows me now might question whether I was really into hiking. Truth is, I wasn’t so much. I was more into thinking about hiking. Put that on the “I wish I’d taken more walks” list.

I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. Traveling back to Arizona became part of the dream. I didn’t know how or when, but I knew I would be back. After all, I was looking at living near there on the Navajo reservation. How difficult would at trip to the canyon be?

I’d almost given up on the idea of seeing the canyon again. If Scott had not been so proactive with the planning, I might never have made it.

But, I needed to.

And we did.

The story of the journey continues.

Part 1.

Available on Amazon.

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