She feels her foot slip, feels the cool air, she’s falling. Trembling she awakes, skin clammy and cold.
The Grand Canyon, Arizona, its natural beauty – vast, wild, stark.
We left the arid desert, traveled past cactus dotted hillsides, snowcapped mountains glistened in the distance.
“Stay On The Trail!” A young man fearlessly climbed over the rail, onto a rock ledge; his friends watched laughing.
He turned, catching the rock’s edge, and plummeted into the Canyon. An eerie silence then a bloodcurdling scream roused the visitors to the devastating reality.
Years later, the chilling scene still haunts her dreams.
It was always a dream of mine to see the Grand Canyon. In February 2020 (just prior to COVID halting travel in the US), Bud and I flew west landing at the Phoenix, Arizona airport. A couple of days later we boarded a tour bus that would take us to the Grand Canyon.
It was a spectacular drive. Having never been “out West” it was a wonderful opportunity to see a part of our country totally unfamiliar to me. The pictures in this post are from that trip.
After dropping some of our group off for their helicopter tour, we proceeded on to the South Rim entrance. AZCentral.com describes the South Rim in its article, “It takes one bad step: People die at the Grand Canyon because it’s a beautiful, dangerous place.”
Wereintherockies.com reported as of 2021 about 900 people (11 per year) have died in the Canyon – the #1 reason is airplane or helicopter crashes and #2 is falling from cliffs. Deaths from the harsh environment and drowning round out their list.
Signs are posted! But… As azcentral.com also wrote in its article, “The edge is closer than it looks…its unpredictable. Either you can’t stay away, or you can’t imagine getting any closer.“
Fortunately all members of our tour group survived that day and enjoyed a solemn ride back to Phoenix as the sun set on the Arizona hills.
There are accommodations at the South Rim and I would love to return to watch the Arizona sun rise and set over the Canyon. It would be spectacular!
I wrote this 99-word story remembering our trip. We did actually see a young man walk out on a ledge to take a selfie while his friends stood by. I assume he safely returned to the trail. Additionally, a month or so after we returned, a young girl fell over the edge and died. Being deathly afraid of heights, it gives me chills to think about it. I hope that comes out in my story.
In my post of December 30, 2020, Hope for 2021, I shared a bit more about our trip to Arizona and my hopes for a new Administration in Washington, COVID, and travel. You might enjoy the look-back. I did.