Jonathan Reny

My Parents' Experience at the Grand Canyon

My parents, Tim and Brenda, have been together now for almost 20 years. But right before they married they went traveling around the country a lot. In this case they traveled to Arizona and Las Vegas to visit family and my dad had to take care of some business deals for work. This is why the trip was originally planned but then it changed into a vacation as well because my dad realized that he had time to visit his sister who worked as a doctor on a Hopi reservation in Arizona. The two left Boston for the trip on a day that was as cold as an ice bath. They were going to Arizona first before my dad had to leave for Las Vegas. My mom wasn’t going to go with him for that part of the trip because it was for business only. When they arrived they went out to the Hopi reservation where they crammed themselves into a tiny rental car to get there because it was in the middle of the desert. They had a nice time there but it was getting a little boring and tiring. Then they both realized that they had never been to the Grand Canyon.

This was such a good idea and they both really wanted to go before my dad had to leave on business. But on the bad side by the time they got there it would be night and they would only have a couple of hours the next day to explore it. They said their good byes and headed for the canyon. They found a small motel to stay at. The room they rented ended up wreaking a horrible odor.

The next day they woke up early to get a jump-start on the hiking. They rented large backpacks and got two water canteens each. These water canteens were also very large because it was so hot out and there wouldn’t be anyone around for miles if they needed assistance. It was around 10 AM when they were on their descent to the bottom of the canyon. Both my parents thought they would have enough time to get back to the top and drive to the small airfield in time. But they didn’t count on the fact that it would be so beautiful and they would just travel and travel farther down the canyon. They hiked for two hours down before in a panic they realized that they didn’t allow enough time to get back up to the top and then to drive to the airport. This was terrible; besides, going back up the canyon was twice as hard because it was up hill. They started off on a fast pace and my dad was in good shape at the time and hiked a lot so it wasn’t that bad for him. My mom, on the other hand, was having a very hard time keeping up because she had her backpack, water, and all. My dad offered to take some of her equipment so they could keep up the pace that they were going to have to use to make the flight on time.

Now, at this point my dad was getting really tired and each step he took was starting to feel like he had weights on his feet. But he knew how important this meeting was and, if he missed this flight, how much trouble he would be in, so he trudged on. My mom just couldn’t keep up at all and the two of them were so tired. They only had an hour left and still had to climb half way up and then had to get to the airport. They had to drop some of the weight and the heaviest thing was all of the water. The water felt like they were carrying around a pair of bowling balls on their backs. They then decided that, that would be the thing to go so they tasted the last sips of water and hustled off. My dad thought about going ahead and leaving my mother behind but then promptly realized that this wouldn’t work because they had only one car and he couldn’t leave her out in the middle of the red hot desert. My dad trampled his way up the canyon like a Sherpa packing its way up a mountainside. They had finally done it.  They reached the top of the canyon, the car was in sight.

They both ran over to the rentals and dropped off the equipment and jumped into the car. They were in the middle of the desert so my dad thought it would be okay to drive 90 miles per hour towards the airport. They were both physically exhausted. The airport was in sight and since this was 20 years ago and in the middle of nowhere you could practically drive up to the departing gate. He rushed out of the car and made it just in time right as the flight was about to leave. He was covered in sweat and it looked as if he had just jumped into a pool. But none of that mattered because he had made the flight and that was what was important.



Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.