I glance over to the man in my life as he takes a photo of me standing on top of the Heavenly Path Boulder. I just finished a bouldering circuit of thirty-one new climbs in the volcanic tablelands. Dusk is upon us as we head back to camp in Buttermilk Country. Home for the next nine days. You can find us here: climbing, bloodied, bruised and wildly happy.
It’s 117 degrees in the Mojave and the streets of Yucca Valley are deserted. We take refuge in the Rock Chapel waiting for our three o’clock check in time at the Joshua Tree Inn. A swimming pool is in our near future and Wanda Jackson is playing down the road tonight, but right now it’s me, my gals, and a cold beer in hand; nothing could be more perfect.
We made our way down the cliff onto a plateau in the Grand Canyon that offered us solitude from the masses. It was the 22nd of September 2010. Autumn was beginning, and on this night appeared the first full moon the canyon had seen during an equinox in nearly twenty years. The moon-rise in the east coupled with the sunset in the west created a twilight summer-autumn glow seen by everyone in the Northern hemisphere that evening. I’d be damned, if that wasn’t the most glorious of places to witness such an event! It’s a moment that has stayed with me. There in the fading light, PJ belted out love songs on his trumpet, serenading the canyon, while Jason and I continued our hunt for brachiopod fossils until sleep finally overtook us.