Friday, December 17, 2010

Great studio and the Grand Canyon

The following day we visited my Aunt's painting studio. Ed and her had remodeled an old Citgo station, working nearly every weekend for two years. It was enormous and comfortable with heated floors. It had a clean room and a work room. It had built in ventilation. It had two bathrooms. It had a garden. Come on...
Keppie had met a Grand Canyon Park Ranger while running a workshop at Berklee this past year, so after a glorious breakfast at the Frontier Restaurant we headed for her house. When we got there we chatted with (Ranger) Elysha for a bit. She told us that about ten people commit suicide by driving their cars into the canyon each year. They have special helicopters to pull the cars out. She told us that in the summer the walls of the canyon have an average temperature of 115 degrees or more. She said a common mistake was people not having enough salt, they'd bring water but nothing salty and their muscles would seize up. First they have a feeling of impending doom, then they get angry and then violent. These people are referred to as "dickheads", or rather "diccheads". Disoriented, irritable, combative and then comatose. Serious stuff.
The most dangerous animals in the Grand Canyon are squirrels. "Rock squirrels", she said. They steal food. They chew through peoples camel bak tubes to get to their water. They are super aggressive and they carry the bubonic plague. If you are not treated after they bite you within a few hours you develop lesions all over. Gross and fascinating.
We hiked about a mile and a half into the canyon. Keppie had a lot of fun, looking around, taking pictures and strolling confidently down the narrow dirt path. I was terrified. I have a healthy fear of heights but this height was ridiculous and my fear grew proportionally. Gravity is unhelpful in situations like that, it wants you to run and trip and accelerate. I kept saying things like, "lets just get this over with'. I didn't have much fun on the way down, but gravity helped me feel heavy and solid on the way back up. It was worth it absolutely.

The canyon is completely massive and stunning. It is really hard to think about rationally.
There were mules.
And we fed this bird pistachio nuts.


  1. hon, don't tell them we fed it nuts. i don't think it's illegal nut-feeding.

  2. Illegal nut-feeding? No, it's OK to feed Fionn,
    But just not too frequently.
    His Dad

  3. Dad! I live my own life now!
    I eat pistachio nuts!
    Think about it! Deal with it! Get over it!

    And I ride in the FRONT SEAT!

  4. You never could grow a pistachio.