Tin roof in the distance is the latrine at Cedar Ridge. It took us an hour to switchback our way down.
Life and Death in a timeless embrace — the strangest beauty of all.
The woman walking away up the trail is a seventy-one year old I met here at Cedar Ridge. “Annie” hiked down to Phantom Ranch that morning and is on her way back to The Trailhead. She was wearing Birkenstock sandals and unfazed by the frigid weather or arduous demands of The Kaibab. It took us five hours just to reach Cedar Ridge. Enough said. Annie is on whom I based the character “Cira” in the novel.
As our lunch companions fled the scene and became pixels on the trail to Skeleton Point, I re-christened Cedar Ridge, “The Kasbah,” in memory of the moment.
On the whispering wind below the trail to Indian Garden, and rest. We’d been moving without a stop for nearly six hours. We had no choice if we had a prayer of making it to the South Rim that night. Keep moving, don’t stop.