Monday, March 19, 2012
By the Time I Got to Phoenix
“You’re going to hike the Grand Canyon?”
There was no mistaking the pity in his eyes. My stomach dropped. It was one of those moments when I wondered who writes my bucket list, if there was any hope that she would ever employ restraint, and if I’d left enough notes on the series I was writing, so that in the event that the canyon ate me, my editor-friend could finish it.
Sitting in a Mexican restaurant, listening to my friend’s story of when he’d hiked the canyon, freaked me out enough that I decided to take my last minute training seriously. The advice that had stuck in my head after all my research was, “Eat twice as much as you normally would.” Psych! It didn’t say when to start, but those pitying looks of ‘You’re so gonna die’ inspired me to start right then and there with chips and guacamole. There were five meals standing between me and that canyon and I was going to make everyone of them count.
“Uh, Hon? What are you doing?” Hubby asked as I plopped into a booth at Chick-fil-A. “I thought you were just getting water and using the Ladies… it’s a four hour drive to the canyon from here. Don’t you want to get to the rim before dark?”
“We missed breakfast!” Waffle-fries and a chicken sandwich would have to make-do as my make-up meal. Yes, I was eating meat - the whole vegetarian thing is more of a guideline when I’m under duress. I don’t like the taste of it, but I was in training you see?
“Um, you ate breakfast two hours ago….”
“Look, you’re supposed to eat TWICE as much as normal when you hike the canyon. I read it on the internet, so it must be true.”
He mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like “six times as much,” but since no living husband has ever said that out loud, I must have misunderstood. I couldn’t ask for clarification because I was trying to choke down the chicken.
We made it to the south rim of the canyon before dark and it was snowy, windy and quite cold. We found the trail we’d be hiking down in the morning. From the top it looked like an eight inch wide, solid-ice luge chute. I headed in the opposite direction.
“Babe? Don’t you want to take pictures?”
“The restaurant in this El Tovar place is supposed to be fantastic. We might be able to get in without reservations since it’s so early.”If it was going to be my last meal (not counting tomorrow’s breakfast), I was going to make it good. There is reason to suspect that I may possibly be a stress eater.
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