Go West Old Men: A Travel Memoir. Part 6

Planning: Oh, There Was a Spreadsheet

This is Part 5 of the story, follow these links to see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Over the years Scott and I would see each other at class reunions at Asbury University in Kentucky. Later we were both members of the Alumni Board and served a couple of years together.

We would also work to find other times to hang out. We met at Promise Keepers event in Pittsburg followed by some camping and hiking. We spent a weekend at Assateague State Park in Maryland, along with the ponies, the deer, and the sand flies. And we spent a day walking around Annapolis, Maryland.

Occasionally we’d talk about the Grand Canyon, but we made no plans.

In my mid-fifties, knowing that the window of opportunity was closing, I wrote a blog post about my Bucket List. On that this was “Hike the Grand Canyon.” At the time, I was serious.

Approaching sixty with back issues and arthritis I shifted my plans and began talking to Scott about taking a rafting trip. I wanted to do with when I turned sixty-two, which was my initial retirement date. For many reasons, that didn’t happen. But it did start us talking about the trip and how we could do it. We started looking at a summer trip.

Along came COVID, and later my diagnosis with prostate cancer and the date kept getting pushed back.

We tried for the summer of 2022, but I just wasn’t ready. Turns out that was the right choice because a week before we would have left, I finally got COVID.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2023 when Scott said “we’re going this year.” We agreed, picked a date range, and started making plans.

In reality, Scott started making the plans. We agreed that we would meet along the way and drive one of our vehicles to the canyon. He began researching campsites and trails and all the things associated with touring the canyon.

By this point, I would have been content to take the touristy buses and drive our little scooters up to the edge for photos.

Scott, on the other hand, is an outdoorsman, and a planner. And he makes a mean spreadsheet.

We’d talk about once a week, text or email more often, and we began to put the pieces together.

A few nights on the south rim. A few nights on the north rim. And some interesting points in between and after.

We had reached the point of no turning back.

So, we didn’t.


Available on Amazon.

1 pings

  1. […] is Part 5 of the story, follow these links to see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.