‘A Tale Told By An Idiot ‘ (The Grand Canyon – Part 1, Ch 1)

In Act 5, Scene 5, Macbeth offers his unsettling conclusion about life…

backpack at beginning
Leaving for the Kaibab Trail – January 28th 2014

If we’re to believe Macbeth, every day but lights the way to a dusty death…a walking shadow strutting an hour upon the stage then heard no more. Contrived struggles…an ignorant march toward a fruitless demise…a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Macbeth concludes in the end that life has NO meaning. The death of Lady Macbeth and the meaningless slaughter of war haunts him. Macbeth would’ve been home in the Grand Canyon. This place sucks meaning from your marrow, steals your empathy, your compassion, takes your memories, your wisdom, and leaves you alone with the thousand-yard stare. Then it splays your atoms onto a billion year old carpet of stone where you’ll have to reassemble yourself, get up, and march back up to the rim. No one will help you. No one can. In the Canyon you’re on your own. Remember that above all when you hear us tell our tale of ‘there and back again.’

first steps on Kaibab
The first step of the Kaibab Trail is the head-fake of all time…smooth and pretty, it does nothing to prepare you for the arduous terror that awaits
Jeff last happy face
My friend Jeff just below the South Rim near the beginning of our adventure…we didn’t know it at the time but it would be his last happy face for two days…things were about to get interesting
first shot below the rim
As you descend from the rim, the siren drama begins to unfold
second shot below the rim
Way below in the distance is a crevice in which you’ll disappear and head straight down for 3 miles to the Colorado River
path on the edge
No matter where you are you’re close to the edge and close to a dusty death
switchbacks on the canyon wall
The stacked rocks on the wall of the canyon mark the switchbacks of the Kaibab Trail…the people you see as specks on the wall were celebrating a “big birthday”… there’s no accounting for people’s careless celebration of life

So far…everything is beautiful—if a little scary. The photographer’s light begins to bounce-off the canyon walls creating views that can be seen only by idiots. There is no way to know at this stage the incredible terrible wonderful adventure that lay ahead.

photographers light

Stay tuned for the sturm and drang of descent to Phantom Ranch…

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5 thoughts on “‘A Tale Told By An Idiot ‘ (The Grand Canyon – Part 1, Ch 1)”

  1. The journey will be complete when a descent is made to the bowels of Palo Duro, the mother of the Grand Canyon.


  2. … kinda just the opposite of Paul and my “attempt” to climb Mt Popo in 1976! Hope you guys have better luck!
    I’ve flown over it, been to the edge, never went down though – wouldn’t be able to now with my rusty feet & knocky knees!
    Good Luck!


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