grand canyon

i've been to the grand canyon 3 times now, and each time my perception of it has changed... i know the canyon hasn't changed, so it must be me that has changed over the years... the first time was when i was in the deepest love i've known... we came on june 22 when the sun was straight up in the sky, and there was no shade to be found anywhere... 100 degrees and we decided to walk down the trail... this trail, as anyone who has been knows, is a nightmare... 3-foot-wide on the side of a cliff with a mile drop below, with ledges and rocks and donkey shit everywhere... every few feet you have to slide over for either a hiker to pass, or worse for a team of donkeys carrying people and supplies... but we walked down, half way to the canyon floor, when we came upon a sign that read: "do not proceed unless you have 1 gallon of water per person. many have tried and many have died." we had about a liter of water for 5 of us... so we started our hike up again... i guess i was with a bunch of dummies because we were hiking down to the bottom of the grand canyon with no water... did we think there would be a store at the bottom? duh... anyway, the hike up was one of the hardest hikes i've ever had to do... i savored every sip of the water i got... when we got to the top, i went right for the vending machine and bought 3 drinks for every person... but the experience is one i'll never forget... just being there with her, and the feeling of laughing so hard when the dehydration began to fade...

the second time was a few years later... again i was with her and her family... this time we only walked down about 200 steps... we knew better, plus her brother and his wife were there with a baby, and there was no time to make it to the bottom... we had the shared experience from the past to reflect on, and it didn't need to be spoken much between us, only relayed to any others

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