Thursday, January 24, 2008

Walking on ice

Well it's more like shuffling really. At least until I bought some yak traks tonight. I walked from my work to the Bright Angel to meet Mike; while I was waiting I wandered into the gift shop hoping they would have at least the crampons. Yes it sounds bad, but they work; barely. I was tickled to find the tracs and bought them. As the world outside has been blustery with '1 or more' inches of snow (it's turning out to be 'or more'; a lot more), I look forward to the beauty it will be. Now I won't fear walking the rim as much to get more fabulous pictures. I am eternally thankful for the fake rabbit fur hat I bought in London, and the suede lambswool lined coat I got in Georgia. I stay snuggly warm as the wind blows the white stuff around to decorate the landscape as the trees talk.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bestowment from Winter

It's like a York peppermint patty commercial, except it's real. It's exhilarating, breathtaking, and emotionally overwhelming to see the canyon and the forest in frost or snow.
This is called hoar frost. What ever it is or however science wants to deliver it; it's poetry.

Each individual needle is covered in a very light sugar coating of frost. What makes the frost so obvious is the frost itself is built up like it was snowflakes partially melted onto the needles so it looks like it has 'tentacles'. It was the prettiest I think I've ever seen the trees.

Last Monday it poured about 18 inches of snow on us. It was a bugger to get to work, but the atmosphere around the work place was excitement to see how Mother Nature painted the canyon. It cleared at lunch, but I didn't dare go look or I'd be very late back; but right after work I hurried up to the canyon and was thoroughly enthralled with the magnificence it once again presented me with.

These are but a few of hundreds I have momentarily clicked with my camera. They are worth the hard encrusted ice I sometimes have to slip and slide on to get to work, or to play; not to mention the time everyone has waited to see them.

I am truely blessed to have the opportunity to be here for these moments. I've been told this only happens once every 7 years, to be honored is humbling to say the least.

In silence I wait
Ancestors hold destiny
In the breath of wind.


Friday, January 18, 2008

one red jelly bean, two green jelly beans...

Well the 2nd full week of work has come to a completion. It's been and still is a great learning experience. I've had a few people I used to see more often come up to me and ask me where I've been. One lady thought I was away on vacation. Mike's got weekends off, he got them before me, but it's nice going up to the rim early when he goes in the wee hours to have breakfast with him. We usually meet around lunch time, sometimes we have time to share the lunch hour, sometimes just enough time to say hi; but we always meet for dinner. Tonight we had dinner with Sue, it was good to see her feeling better and back on her feet.
I still love the snow, I just dislike walking on encrusted ice; which is predominant here. I miss wearing my cowboy boots. As I get more accustomed to the new schedule, and the changes life has bestowed, I will blog more. In the meantime, be patient with me I'm in another field tending my roots to bloom where planted.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I was reminded today of how I used to joke with regards to 'keeping the bean counters happy', I burst out laughing because I am now one; and yes, I still have to keep the bean counters happy - especially this one.
I'm still leaning my new job and it will take me a while to learn as it is intense in details. I will probably miss the interaction I used to have with guests and co workers; I just have to narrow the co-worker interaction to a small handful since I'm no longer in the 'loop';but keep open to those I do encounter whether by accident or intention.
It feels good to be able to breath again, illness ran rampant through our village and is trying to cling on. I'm grateful for the vitamins and immunity drops I've both bought and have been given for I feel like I'm waking up again. Time to enjoy the talents I have, the thoughts I want to create and continue the journey. For the moment it's time to cook some soup, crackers, cheese, a little cut up apple and some wine. Tomorrow begins yet another day of opportunities.

Monday, January 07, 2008


Today I woke up with about 10 inches of snow on the ground. I stood outside to listen to the silence. The only sound I heard was my breath, the sparkle of the newly falling and fallen snow glittered in the light. By lunch the sun had come out and the boughs weighed heavy with the snow. By the time I got done with work, I made my way slowly up to the rim. I couldn't help but smile and say "wow" over and over as the canyon was layered in snow with each step I took. The juxposition of the snow against the desert quality of the many buttes and peaks took my breath away; words again cannot do it justice. Though my back pack may weigh a lot, it's so worth it for the pictures I took. Which will probably get posted this weekend.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Tonight I finished my last shift at the front desk. I was rewarded with a nice quiet night, and a great team of co workers, who have become friends.

I was remembering some of the most memorable guests that have come through in my short time and thought I'd write about them since I don't want their moments to get lost. Though it was a quick passing, they touched my heart. Earlier in the late summer (I started at the end of Aug, so this was Sept), two women did days of hiking all through the canyon, going from one park to another via hiking. Ending and celebrating their journey with my lodge, I thanked them for the inspiration they gave.

A sweet young couple checking in later then the majority remembered Ben and myself and after conversing like we were old friends left us green tea for health. I thanked them for their gift of friendship.

Three monks from Scotland, one went to Plateau Point and back, he waited patiently while the other two hiked down to the river and back. (PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AS IT IS VERY DANGEROUS). They made it safely, but as much as I wanted to sit and talk with the one waiting, David generously spoke with him and noted our curiosity. He looked so tired and worn out I gave him a package of gookinaid and sunflower seeds to sustain him until his friends returned. When they made it and sat down exhaustedly I have them the rest of my gookinaid and sunflower seeds to help them get to where they were going. I thanked them for their blessing.

A very sweet elderly gentleman who charmingly flirted and commented about my red hair, kissed my hand when he found what Scottish 'clan' I had been born into and smiled saying 'back in the day we were enemies.' After talking with him the next day before he and his family checked out he sweetly told me I was 'unforgettable'. I thanked him for his charm.

Last Saturday a very nice gentleman I had checked in several nights before jokingly approached me, quipping about me remembering his name. I knew him instantly. When I asked how his stay was he replied it was great but a bit sad. I asked him why, and he shared with me how his wife loved the Grand Canyon the most out of all the parks. She had died several months ago, but left an instruction manual for him to follow. One was hiking the Bright Angel trail, which they loved to do together. Tears welled in my eyes, and I thanked him for sharing his gift of love and dedication.

Though there were more people gathered into the little scenarios I've described, these are the one's I can recollect with details. Though the times were very brief, it reminds me of life and the journeys we recollect with details. May your memories be touched with kindness in remembering the passing minutes of a day; you never know how you touch a total stranger with your story; they too may dedicate a word or action to something that touched a cord inside to inspire them.