Deep Down the Kaibab Trail

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View from the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Photo by Richard F. Fleck

View from the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Photo by Richard F. Fleck

(a reverse climb)

Deep within the spruce and fir,

I make my camp along the North Rim,

but before I eat my supper, I walk

over to the nighttime edge of the

Grand Canyon to peer three or four

thousand feet down to see a tiny

flickering campfire way below that

will lure me down very early the next

day from a chilly forty degrees into

heat of mid-summer and then some—

from Canadian forest to Mexican

desert with shoulder-high prickly pears

and Spanish bayonets, but I return to

find a perch above the cooling spray

The North Kaibab Trail descends 6,000-feet from the North Rim to the Colorado River over 14 miles. Photo by Richard F. Fleck

The North Kaibab Trail descends 6,000-feet from the North Rim to the Colorado River over 14 miles. Photo by Richard F. Fleck

of Ribbon Falls where I can drink

my fill and continue to climb back up

into welcoming pearly thunderheads;

however, I lose my energy far too

fast with barely enough tepid water

until a sudden shower of hailstones

coats the ground allowing me to eat

the pellets of ice to moisten my mouth

and spirit until I stand once again on the

rim and stare into all that canyon space.