I'll try to explain the subject line later.
Remember how I promised to be more organized once I got my laptop
back? Yeah, me too. Though I am typing on the aforementioned
instrument at this very moment I must admit that I am no more
organized than a group of greased pigs on ice skates. However, I have
been online for more than an hour now which is a record for me since
starting this job. How is this hour possible, you ask? Let me start
by saying that the Grand Canyon is my new favorite place to stay for
more than one day.
Granted I'm not staying in a hotel and it's pretty darn hot here right
now, but all that aside I have discovered a wonderful bonus. I'm
coming to you via the internet at this moment courtesy of the IMAX
complex in Tusayan, which is the town right outside of the GC. The
wonderful people at IMAX have been kind enough to set up a driver's
lounge that comes fully equipped with coffee, donuts, two massaging
chairs, a TV, two computers with internet access and almost best of
all. . . . . wireless internet. Hell, I've been here most of the day!
The other reason that the GC is great is that I dropped my group off
at the rim and I just told them I'd be back at 3pm to pick them up. I
love my group but personal time is so very hard to come by in this job
that I will take every hour I can get. I guess at this point I can
also let you know that my tour is going relatively well. We have one
more night in the GC, then a night at Betty and Rusty's Cowboy Camp,
then two nights in San Diego before we end this thing on Saturday back
in El Segundo (where I DID NOT leave my wallet. . . TCQ anyone?).
Now, the subject of this email. I apologize to any children who may
be reading this inadvertenly. The acronym TO was first introduced to
me just a short time ago on my first Trek. A young lady from New
Zealand informed me that she regularly experienced something by the
name of TO. I asked her if she needed a Time Out, a work of Tubular
Oragami or perhaps just a Tuna Order. "No," she said. The T and the
O in TO stand for Travel Orgasm.
I was aghast, yet intrigued. She quickly informed me that it was not
sexual but more spiritual. After travelling different parts of the
world it seems that in some places she would experience a sort of
euphoria at certain spots along her journey. You know, a particularly
beautiful sunset over an inactive volcano, an unparalleled view of
Machu Pichu during a lightning storm, playing hop-scotch with the
lemurs of Madagascar, that sort of thing.
Point is, I recently had a TO while visiting Yosemite National Park.
Fabulous place, if you've never been, well worth the trouble with the
bears. In fact I was fortunate enough to see two bears in two days
when I was there just a few days ago. But my real TO experience came
when I was hiking the John Muir Trail up to Nevada Falls. I have been
to Yos a few times now but I've always been too far behind in my
paperwork to do a proper hike. This time I set out right after I
dropped my group off and I was rewarded with a 9-mile hike that gave
excellent views of two massive waterfalls (Vernal and Nevada falls).
At one point on the trail up (the ascent was about 1800') I came over
a ridge and got my first site of Nevada Falls. Surprisingly this was
not the moment.
The view proceeded to improve with each switch back or turn and at one
point I found myself standing on an insanely pretty spot with no other
person around and nothing but the roar of the waterfall around me.
I'm not much one for meditation but now I know why those monks are
trying to reach Nirvana. It must be something like that spot that I
stood upon. And that was that. I instantly remembered that moments
like those were the reason I had taken this job in the first place and
the world was good. Since then I've been wondering if my southwest
trips hold anything in store for me that will even come close but
after seeing a decent sunset at the rim of the GC last night I imagine
that I might not ever quite get that experience back in this part of
the country. All I really know is that I want to do some backpacking
in the Sierras again when I'm through with this season.
Unfortunately, I have to pick up my group pretty soon. Not that the
rim of the Grand Canyon is a terrible place to be stranded but I guess
it is pretty hot outside.
Love and Cheetos.