"I have a rock in me bum and one in me tit!"
"OK Audrey, just step and grab and that will take care of it."
A few minutes earlier Audrey had removed her pants (too tight for climbing) and was ascending in her white panties up to the top of the Esplanade.
After taking 21 fun loving, crazy Brits for a week of adventure in the Grand Canyon I am tired, but fulfilled with a restored faith in the human spirit.
On Friday, after kayaking 18 miles on the Colorado , we celebrated the completion of their charity challenge at the great American Pub -Gordon Biersch, in Las Vegas.
All 21 were successful and was ready to parteeeeeeeeeee. Not that they had denied themselves down at Havasupai.
They came to the Grand Canyon to complete a challenge in order to raise money for several charities in the UK such as youth hospices and cystic fibrosis. All had been touched by the charity they were working for. Some had young children that had been stricken, some were suffering from a debilitating disease.
This group was the happiest, most caring, kindest people that I have ever met. They were brave and they all lived for the moment.
They invaded Havasupai and treated the Grand Canyon as if it was pure magic. Their eyes sparkled when they saw the blue green water.
They hiked 35 miles in the heat and paddled 18 in strong winds. They jumped off Navajo Falls into the deep pools. They showed much courage when they climbed down Mooney Falls.
All worked very hard helping the guides with every chore. They were most appreciative of our guide work and made you feel wonderful. Most had never met before but loved each other.
I can name that tune in three notes
On the road I played the oldies station and identified each song in less than two notes to the cheers of the entire van. They sang along with every song and knew all the words.
At our camp in Havasupai they met and fed "PDOG" (real name is Otis, although female) PDOG is the helicopter pilot's dog but spends most of her time at our camp and is very well fed with leftovers. Other Indian dogs like Yoda and Shadow also hang out and are subservient to PDOG but if the alpha wolf catches them eating any scraps she rips into them.
When we hiked out PDOG was up at the Supai village. She has an arthritic hip and sometimes can not make it down to camp.
"I go where the sound of thunder is." Alfred M. Gray
One night a monsoon blew in and the thunder rumbled through the canyon walls. The distant lightning was spectacular. It was eery and we were on alert for a possible flash flood.
The swimming was great
Simon, Clare, Dave and Georgia.
(It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it!)
How's this for a swimming hole?
Late Friday night I left the group at the Hard Rock Casino. They had 5 Pacificos lined up for me but I just had to get some sleep.
At the airport the next morning we all said our goodbyes. I was promised T-shirts from the Beatles shop in Liverpool.
There weren't many dry eyes and I found myself fighting back tears. It had been a privilege sharing time with these people.
"The road to hell is paved with adverbs".
The long drive back to Phoenix was pure hell. Just outside Vegas, at 65 miles an hour and in heavy freeway traffic, my trailer shimmied badly and I averted a serious accident by getting to the side of the road. I don't know how I did it. Upon examining the trailer, I discovered that the pin holding the hitch was gone. It blows me away to think how that could happen. Vandalism? Who knows?
A young man pulled off the Freeway to help me. He gave me the pin off his hitch and helped me lift the trailer back in place. Thanks to this act of generosity and kindness I was able to get back on the road.
When we got to Phoenix, I 17 was closed and I had an hour's delay.
Finally I made it to the AOA office. After cleaning the coolers and gear I as more than ready to get home. I jumped in my truck and was greeted with a dead battery. Of course I did not have my AAA card with me.
Somehow these events were met with perspective .
"Lets live for today"
EL Lobo H. Grande