I’m Too Cold to Poop

Journal Entry- October 17th, 2021

It is freezing. Last night we camped in a frozen valley. I’m not sure what the temperature was but it felt the coldest yet. We hurriedly packed up camp, all the while shivering.

“I’m too cold to poop” I tell Bobby, and he agrees. “I can’t bring myself to squat right now, let’s hike till we find some sun”.

It is still funny to me how much the trail can change you. Put us in the middle of nowhere in a freezing valley and I won’t even think twice about mentioning bowel movements or lack there of. We are hiking towards the Grand Canyon. It has been on my bucket list to hike through the Grand Canyon, and now that we’re here going to be doing just that, it’s hard to believe we’re here. We pass a lookout tower and Bobby climbs it to see about a phone signal. “Hey Ma, yeah we’re fine” I hear him talking from my place below. The tower consists of several flights of open grated steps, iron hand rails and yes, I stay firmly on the ground. When we reach the ranger station at the North Rim we meet another hiker named Lucky, we strike up a short conversation about the trail.

I think we’re both excited about seeing other hikers. I get a bit self conscious of our matching tops (go Amazon). “We look like a couple that’s trying too hard” I laugh and Bobby shrugs. We reach the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Bobby pulls out the tent to dry in the sun as I go to the ranger station. We need permits for camping in the Canyon, I silently hope we can stay at the bottom. “Yes there is availability” the ranger smiles “And you’ll have an amazing camp spot if you stay here tonight ”. DONE. I hike back to Bobby. Tonight we camp on the North Rim and tomorrow begins the trek through the Canyon. 

We have the perfect camp spot, the Ranger wasn’t joking, it’s right on the ridge of Marble Canyon. The sunset is breathtaking and a small crowd gathers at the edge to watch. The sky is alight with colors, the snow covered ridges put into hyper focus. The world feels endless here on the edge. Each moment the light from the setting sun paints a different color on the canvas that is the Canyon.  In the silence of the setting sun, an occasional “wow” can be heard from the bystanders. I stand close to Bobby, holding him tight as we watch the setting sun, the colors now like fire across the craggy tips. In this moment I am struck with the realization that this was always possible. Time is utterly fragile in this life. I feel it slipping away like the sun sliding behind the curve of the earth.  It had felt so impossible to get here, to peel away the time from work. Now I realize it would have been worth it all just to see this. If the trip ended here I could be happy, and yet this is the first time I feel we can truly accomplish this trail. 

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