I awaken slowly in the spring dawn and stretch inside my sleeping bag, feeling stiff and brittle as a sun-bleached boat paddle. Footsteps crunch gently across the sandy beach. Softly muffled chatter grows louder, pots and pans clang more frequently as our guides begin breakfast preparations at their lavish camp kitchen. It is time to extricate myself from my ground-dwelling nest. The coffee gong sounds brash and heavenly. It is the morning of our first full day on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon; on hands and knees I crawl out of my already sandy tent and shake myself awake, keen to continue the adventure. Just throw me in the river and I will limber up in no time.
The cowboy coffee is perfect, nearly strong enough to stand a spoon upright in the middle of my cup. Breakfast is hot and plentiful, and apparently we have choices.
Guide in gaudy flowered apron: How would you like your eggs?
Me: How about eggs Benedict?
Guide: Scrambled it is!
|Packing the j-rigs|