Stepping out of the cabin after the drama on the South Kaibab the day before, this is what I saw. The Sun’s rays angle up from the desert horizon and clip the South Rim at 7,000 feet, while the sky reflects a unique soft glow into the Canyon a mile below. There isn’t a “golden hour” in the Canyon like the ones I enjoy at the beach, but magic reigns all the same. I was sore. The drama on The Kaibab made that a fait accompli, but I was able to loosen up by going for a morning hike on the Canyon floor. I came to know this place in the solitary spirit of exploration that morning, and fell in love. As the novel makes clear, the Canyon floor and I were destined to be star-crossed.

Day Two, Phantom Ranch: 7:30 AM… 15 Degrees Fahrenheit… January 29th 2014

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