Me and JC and Harold went to Bryce Canyon maybe three days into the trip. This was a high point for me as I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon or, for that matter, any other canyon-themed tourist attraction before. Plus, we went on a day when it was 95 degrees in Monroe though only 75 with very strong winds at the canyon. Had we waited another day there would have been a snowstorm at Bryce. So we felt smart. We stopped off at one of the first trails we could find to go out and hike around. I think it was Rainbow Point. (This figures in later because me and JC left beads somewhere aolng the upper rim trail in that area. I guess it’s probably illegal to leave anything in the canyon so, sorry, earth. Hopefully someone will be by to pick those up.)
So while you’re hiking and wheezing along the rim at about 8900ft (there was snow there!) you can look down on stuff like this. It’s all very spectacular and neat-o. Somewhere along the line, pretty early in the game, I became aware that being right at the edge of the unfenced scenic overlooks was starting to freak me out a little. But the trails were made for big, dumb uncoordinated tourists like myself so, what was I worrying about? So I’m still wandering down the path but the whole height thing is starting to make me feel a little (a lot) panicky. And that’s nuts because I’m not afraid of heights. So right about now I’m thinking seroiusly “All I have to do is stay away from the edge of the trail. Edges are what are freaking me out. Just stay away from edges and stick to the trees and don’t look down at shit.” Right at this point it was time to walk across this ridge which is, like, a hill with nothing on either side but openness and slopes that go way, way, way down. The flat, path part across the top of it is about two to sometimes four feet wide, like a sidewalk in parts. But no trees or anything on either side. Were you to actually fall down or get blown over, most likely you’d slide about ten feet, perhaps leaving a trail of urine in your wake, before stopping. I have a picture of the ridge from far away. I took it after we hiked maybe two miles down:
Most of the path wound down into the trees and stuff. There was just that one section that was out in the open. It probably wasn’t even all that scary a thing to walk on but people, had I not been suffering from traveler’s constipation I would have crapped my pants walking across that thing. The wind is super strong when you’re out in the open like that. I could not believe what an intense experience that was for me and my new found fear of heights or canyons or ridges or wind or whatever the hell I had ailing me was. And the thing was, I had to walk over it again on the way back. So that was nightmarish to think about. Hanging onto JC’s back pack flap on the way back across made me feel a little better. Panic attacks really mix things up for you. I don’t think Ive ever had one that involved the fear of something real like heights. At least I know how to avoid that.
So that’s my canyon story! Later, I’ll let you know where we hid our beads in case you want to venture across the scary ridge and find them.
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