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Creek Running North

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July 13, 2004

Canyon view

I fell asleep in one of my favorite positions last night: lying on my stomach under the comforter, propped up on my elbows, a book in hand. There is the temptation, after a particularly good paragraph, to step back mentally and contemplate what you've just read for a moment. Sometimes I realize with a start that I've been contemplating a line for about half an hour, and I pry my eyes open and the moths are starting to gather around the white page, drawn by reflected light.

Last night's read was Grand Canyon by Joseph Wood Krutch, and I "contemplated" a line about a view from the South Rim until Becky woke me up, chuckling.

I had been dreaming, in the interim, about the South Rim.

In 1996 I had had enough of my job. I told Becky I was going to look up an old friend from Buffalo, hopped in the truck, started driving. On the evening of the second day I dangled my feet off the South Rim at Canyon View, drinking a couple or six Mexican beers, watching the Colorado slug past a mile below my steel-reinforced toes. The next morning I walked down the South Kaibab trail until the beer hangover ebbed. An hour spent sitting on a mound of red rock washed away most of the job hangover. Then it was two hours' hard slog to the rim and a day's drive to New Mexico, to spend a couple days with an old anarchist pal from twenty years before, in a different life altogether.

Last night I went back to that cold South Rim campsite, watched the stone tower at Canyon View crumble, felt the rock slip from under my feet and cascade into the Canyon. Flood on flash flood roared past. I felt a keen sadness that I'd never see it happen, nor live to the inevitable day in which the Canyon will have crumbled to a gentle, shallow repose.

Posted by Chris Clarke at July 13, 2004 04:00 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs


YAY!!! I love reading you. Thanks!

Posted by: Anne at July 14, 2004 12:38 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Another beautiful post, Chris.

(There is something strange happening with the comments - when the window comes up, I can't see anyone else's comments until after I post mine.)

Posted by: beth at July 14, 2004 06:23 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs