Sprout, Canyon and the Long Mother Night
Author: Clara Serrano (Jackie's mom) about my 2xR2R2R Grand Canyon FKT, from a mother's perspective.
She's focused and organized.
My worries hang unspoken.
A few hours of sleep.
Chatty guy at the start, playing music, drops sock; different wavelength.
And she's off, flying down the canyon walls.
Small jiggling headlamp, flickering and dimming, back and forth across the switchbacks
down, down, down and out of sight
Back to bed; relax and sleep.
Hours after sunrise, we trot to Bright Angel Trailhead.
Perfect weather; first sights of the Canyon …
<GASP> and <GASP> again.
Day hike is full of wonder.
Snapping at blue sky, rocks, distant cliffs.
The cotton ball clouds whisking above!
Does she see the same clouds?
How do her feet move so lightly and nimbly?
Does she stop to rest?
Exquisite day, 3 hrs down.... and lose track of time.
We check the tracker... she's ahead of pace!
Oh no... we'll miss her first roundtrip!
Hustle UP. So tired and hot but must not stop!
Back to S. Kaibab, park, run to trailhead and she is there!
Take a few picts, don't speak to her.
She dumps water and moves quickly. Still focused. No rest.
And down she flies again.
She's making great time! Nervous energy.
Trying to digest the enormity of the R2R2R already beneath her small feet.
Early evening is slow, sunset is enormous.
Goats on unstable rocks.
Does she see goats?
My photos feel different as I snap toward the west, and the north rim, where she was and is going again.
She's a tiny spec, somewhere down there, fleeting.
Steep canyon walls show the timeless and ever-present Canyon Spirit face.
This is harsh, and serious.
Her light feet have a rhythm here. Will the rocks be solid underneath her?
What wildlife is out there?
Darkness falls into a long cold night.
Very strange dinner at restaurant, in modernity.
We retreat to our room. It's so man-made.
Pillows, soft mattress, blankets, heat.
Should we be in this comfort?
Eyes wide open. Tracker is spotty. What is happening?
Remember, she is mighty, and can channel her beast.
"I can do it myself". Anything.
One hour ON, one hour OFF. Trading off sleep, wake.
Panic, deep breathing, into nervous exhaustion.
She's still out there, and tracker shows long stops
in the cold without much for layers.
No movement on the tracker for hours. Did she stop to sleep? Is there a problem?
Finally, some movement. Very intermittent tracker progress.
Sunrise, and back to the rim we go.
It's been more than 24 hrs, on her feet, and moving.
Cold, hot, cold, and exhaustion.
She is in the universe, and so are we.
Stay grounded, she will emerge
Then there she is, like a sudden beam of sunshine
rising up the rim wall.
Strong, fearless, and open-hearted.
The effort is complete.
I'm filled with gratitude for her Canyon feat,
feeling the vastness with my Mother heart
beating with her every step,
and in awe
of her precious breath and
Earth Mother's Spirit, who cradled her
and delivered her back floating, and vibrant as ever.
By: Clara Serrano (mother and supporter extraordinaire!)