Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#sol15 March 5 Where Messages Area As Clear As The Colorado

WildTo be honest, we did not look like, nor were we inspired by Reese Witherspoon in Wild.
Yet like Reese, somewhere on that winding, endless path through the canyon, we ditched our day-to-day strife to focus on putting one foot in front of the other as we traversed the sparkling-blue, minty-green, burnt-orange, and chocolate-brown tinged rocks that line the Canyon.
Unlike Reese, we made a mental note to find out why those rocks take on such incredible colors !. After all, we are teachers!

To be honest, we had box lunches, fresh water, and camp stew served on plates in a dining hall!. We slept on "bunks" in a cabin with blankets and pillows!
Yet, there were times along the trail we yearned for the "facilities" we have come to expect!
Our adventure was shorter than Reese's, just two days,long with one night at the Phantom Ranch, but the views were only part of what we took out of the Canyon.

We started to "get it" as we watched those mules traversing the dangerous path laden with food, laundry, garbage and people.  You see, the only way in and out of the Canyon is on foot or on mule!  Without those mules, we would have been a sorry, hungry mess!

We started to "get it" again as sore and tired hikers shared stories, offered Advil, and provided a hand to those too tired to walk another step! Without the companionship and sharing of pain management secrets, lost of us would have been placed on the back of a mule for removal!

We saw it at the beginning, middle, and end of each and every switchback and whenever we looked up from our path.  There were majestic views that no man could have ever imagined.  There were magical colors and patterns in the rocks that danced in the sunlight and twinkled in the twilight; no Disney ride could ever compare. The layers of rocks were like endless piles of fabulous layer cakes piled everywhere waiting to be enjoyed.

The message was as crystal clear as the bubbling Colorado River: we all need to step outside of our everyday strife to take in the beauty of this earth and to remember that we are not on this journey alone.


Dogtrax said...

Wow .. what an adventure! I love the images and the way you balanced your teacher eyes (will have to investigate that later) with your nature eyes (beauty all around).

Brian Kelley said...

Stunning--photos and words--I love that accessing the Grand Canyon has changed little over time. Sure, we have more photographs and technology allows us to share it with more people, but truly accessing it there--being present---traveling down into it--you can't bring much more today than you could hundreds (thousands) of years ago. I kind of feel that timeless majesty in your post...humbling.

LInda Baie said...

I've made such a journey with my students, & it was an awesome time, Anita. Glad to hear about your own experience, and the celebration of those "layers" of beauty. It is a magical place.

robin said...

You show and tell your story so well here! I love that you broached Witherspoon to highlight the positive journey you took.

Tara Smith said...

That last paragraph is going to stay with me for a long time, Anita - thank you.

Michelle said...

Beautiful! I agree, your last paragraph tied it up perfectly. Thanks for that reminder. We live in an amazing world!

Catherine said...

My family and I have rafted through the canyon twice, and I completely agree with you that it was a transformative experience. On our second trip, the horseshoe observation deck was up near the south end of the canyon. I remember thinking how minuscule it looked in comparison to the grandeur of the canyon itself. Thanks for sharing!

Michelle Haseltine said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! I am so in awe of this trip! And taking it as a teacher?!?! Oh my goodness...I don't know if I could do that. I LOVE this line, "we all need to step outside of our everyday strife to take in the beauty of this earth and to remember that we are not on this journey alone." So wise!!!

beckymusician said...

What a great trip! You really worked for the reward of the beauty of nature. I also love your last paragraph where you brought it all together.