The Day I was Late for Work
We had left for the Grand Canyon after 1 am last night, pulled in past 4, slept for an hour. Why would we leave so late? I hadn’t gotten off work til past midnight to escape from the city for a few brief hours before me again having work at 5:15 pm later that day.
– 13 hours til work –
We caught an hour of sleep before awakening to the the dawn starting to spill over the star studded sky to realize if we kept sleeping, we should’ve stayed home. These people were crazy enough to come with me despite calling them after midnight. Having friends who are crazy enough to do stuff like this means you’ll never be bored. We miserably froze waited for the sun rise up over the Grand Canyon that unbelievably cold morning where we were convinced that hell is a place frozen over. It seemed as though both time and us were completely frozen. Living our wholes lives in either the deserts of California, Arizona or Africa, we were are cowards when it comes to the cold.
– 12 hours til work –
The sun finally arose and we had seen enough sentimental crap for pretty much ever. So we headed to the trail where you head down the canyon. We started at a breakneck pace in hopes to make it all the way down and up that day.
Miles down the climb, the college students realized that at the pace set would not going to be able to make it up and down the whole thing.
After a game plan powwow, we started free climbing up the side of the canyon. Free climbing is aptly named because climbing without any ropes is free.
– 8 hours til work –
Despite a few spots where it appeared there was no way up or down, losing grip, and ledges sliding out, we were able to pull ourselves up to the top of the ridge. No one got left behind. Getting back to the car we decided to head back towards Phoenix and explore some places along the way back. What looked promising was the Lava River Caves which were tubes molded by magma flows.
– 7 hours til work –
At the turnoff, the gate to get in was closed because of a foot of snow the Forest Service doesn’t trust people’s driving ability. With the gate closed, it was over a 5 trail to get to the caves, which meant we needed another powwow. We couldn’t resist the adventure and thus figured we could forge our own path to save time cutting across. We started on the roads for the first mile but cut across soon after.
– 4 1/2 hours til work –
We made it to the caves with two flashlights working and two phones to guide us through the tunnels. B this point we should have turned around to make it to work on time, but you can’t not enter the caves.
Within the first 5 minutes, one of the lights died and we were stuck with the phones as light. A phone died, and we figured it was time to turn around. There are no pictures from this point on because we didn’t want our last phone to die.
– 3 hours til work –
The only way to make it back even remotely close to being back on time would be for us to take an angle that would take us back to the car, and not carve out of the way on the trail as we did for the first mile. So we left our footprints behind and followed a angle to save time and third time is a charm. No one had fallen free climbing, we made it to the cave in good time, we were bound to make it back in good time. So as we wandered off the route, we came to a fence and didn’t know which way to follow it. We had another powwow and were split on the vote which way to go. So we trusted the wisdom of the college track kid, cuz he can’t get lost running right?
– 10 minutes til work –
It’s actually three strikes you’re out. We were still wandering and not back to any sign of civilization. Our phones had died long ago and the sun was fading over the. There is no way I could call out of work, looks like no one was getting Cheesecake today. During the trek, we were hungry, cold and most importantly fighting against time. What started as a joke of building a shelter was no longer funny. We gathered for another powwow and decided we would make one last push and if it didn’t turn out, we would have to gather supplies to start a fire and build a shelter.
– 20 minutes late to work –
We heard the sound running water or engines off in the distance and made a dash for it in the twilight while we could still see around us. We made had made it to the road and were saved! We hiked along til we found the car. While I was lost and late, we had found something else amongst the powwows. Brotherhood.