This trip owes a big thanks to my wife’s hatred of the Grand Canyon. I mean , she has a deep rooted , bizarre hatred of the “stupid hole in the ground” as she calls it. Knowing your partner well can add a depth of love and respect to your relationship. It can also unleash your dark side……
Now this begins innocently enough. I had a week of vacation I needed to take or I would lose it. Our two boys were going to be on winter break from school. They had never been to the Grand Canyon, despite being born in Arizona ( like their father ). Sounds serendipitous , right? Right, except for the fact that these to Tweens have a mother that fiercely loves them. Nothing gives this lioness more joy than watching her kids experience something new. Enter the dark side.
Having told Mrs. Lioness that I would be taking the boys camping up near Sedona, I had set the net for my emotional trap. Now , you need to know this is being done to protect the majestic lioness, it’s for her own good! As I had expected, she became upset with the idea of not being able to join our little camping trip. I had booked our campsite along the tranquil waters of Oak Creek Canyon, a favorite spot just outside Sedona. Her disappointment grew. Time to spring the trap which will ironically , set Mrs. Lioness free of her desire to accompany us on this
While online with the ten year old ( the littlest lion cub), we , ummm, stumbled onto a map which showed the short distance between our campsite and The south rim of the canyon. ” WOW DAD! Look how close we will be to the Grand Canyon!” the young cub exclaimed. Spring! ” Do you think we could go there?” Beautiful. The eldest cub, having heard the younger cub, came in to the room to add his approval of the idea. After an appropriate amount of time and negotiations, I decide that a day trip to the natural wonder is acceptable. Now the payoff.
The dinner table is set, and everyone is gathering. This must be done carefully. This lioness is especially clever. It must be clear that the cubs really want the canyon trip. The little fella starts with “mom, did dad tell you we are gonna go to the Grand Canyon.?” My brain is buzzing, ” damn it , he brought me in to early!” Her tone is smooth as she purrs out one word “really?” Uh oh, she is sniffing me out. Suddenly the teenager chimes in ” ya, it looks really cool.” Her eyes shift over to his face, he casually chomps on his dinner. Yes! No way she sniffs out the plan now. Just to get the teenager to speak at the dinner table was an event. Finally she speaks, ” you guys really want to go see that stupid hole in the ground?” BAM! Just like that , she is free. No need to feel bad about missing this trip, she gets to dodge walking around the ” stupid hole”. She wins, and so does the papa lion!
The king and his cubs have a great time camping. The trip to the canyon is a hit. We hike , take pictures and have lunch. Then, as if to reward my cleverness, we are blessed with a show by three of the canyons resident California Condors. They swoop and swoosh over our heads. Their massive wings gliding effortlessly on the canyons thermal wind currents. They glide out over the canyon floor a mile below. Then , with the slightest tip of their wings, they catch a thermal and make a high speed fly bye just fifteen feet over I heads. We are mesmerized for over thirty minutes by their aerial acrobatics.
When we arrive home, Mrs. Lioness is well rested and happy for our good fortune and hers!