…a motorcyclist… got in just at dark. We let him set up his tent on our plot and had an interesting visit. He has done a bit of bicycle touring. He’s also a famous person who faces many challenges, and we feel it reasonable to respect his privacy for now. Claire said, “He may be famous, but our interaction taught me that, in a National Park, all are equal, and have the opportunity for renewal.”
Somewhere below 5,000 feet, you notice the saguaros are gone, replaced by oak grasslands and twenty foot agaves in bloom. Another thousand feet and you enter Bear Canyon and feel the cool from Arizona sycamores and alligator junipers. Further up the canyon, you notice the piney vanilla scent of huge ponderosas, their green crowns spiking the now intense blue sky. Breathe deep. Stand on the pedals. Stretch your back and shoulders. Push a little. Feel the burn, the joy of your body, working as it should. A canyon wren’s liquid descending song cheers you on.
It was the beginning of another physically challenging day, frosty, clear, with wood smoke on the air. But that wasn’t it. The roadhouse we stayed in the night before had a mix of police and interesting locals drinking lots of beer and eating many fascinating dishes. The architecture was beautiful. The temple just before the village seemed to hang, glowing white in the thin air, from a cliff. We almost got lost, nothing new. No. It was something else.
A footprint in sand. Soon to be erased by the breath of time. A mark. An instant. One step of many. Why make it special? Do you note your marks? Do you listen to the sound your foot makes in sand? Do you feel the pressure, the texture, the cool or the heat? Just a thought.