Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Kickstarter Day 21 (8 to go): a slot in the Grand Canyon and a man who walked through time

8 days left on The Labyrinth of Flame Kickstarter! (Ha, a co-worker asked me today: "So when does it end, again?  I've been meaning to get your book, but I've been so busy..." I kinda felt like one of those old car commercials in response: "Offer expires soon. ACT NOW."  Any minute now I expect to see Joe Isuzu pop out of the next cubicle with a shark-like grin.) 

Had a chance yesterday to do a little polishing on some Labyrinth of Flame scenes, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Since my head's still full of desert scenery, I thought today I'd show off pics of another hidden desert treasure: Deer Creek in the Grand Canyon.  Like Elves Chasm, Deer Creek is a side canyon deep within the Grand that's possible to visit by a long backpack trip, but far easier to reach from the river.  The upper reaches of Deer Creek are broad, but near the Colorado River it narrows into a deep, sculpted slot that ends in a massive waterfall.          

To reach Deer Creek from the Colorado River, you must take a trail that climbs high above the waterfall's pour-off (and gives you a great view down the Grand Canyon's inner gorge)

Looking into the slot from above

Climbing down into the slot (we brought a handline)

The start of the slot is fairly broad

As the slot narrows, travel gets a bit more tricky (that water is deep and COLD)

The slot gets more exciting the further you go

The walls in the narrows are beautiful

At the base of the final waterfall.  You can rappel this, but you need a far longer rope than we had with us; we descended the slot to where we could hear the fall, then turned around and climbed back out and down. 

I love the Grand Canyon - before my son was born, we used to go once every year for hiking/backpacking adventures - so today's book rec is for a Grand Canyon classic: Colin Fletcher's The Man Who Walked Through Time, in which he tells the story of walking the length of the Grand Canyon back when people weren't sure a hiking route through the depths was possible.  Reading Fletcher is like reading a more modern John Muir; his writing is contemplative, focused as much on his spiritual journey as his physical one, while conveying with vivid accuracy the beauty and grandeur of the wilderness he travels.  In addition to his Grand Canyon adventure, I highly recommend his earlier novel  The Thousand Mile Summer, which chronicles his trip walking the length of California.  Both books are must-reads for anyone who loves the wilderness.


  1. Wow, I clearly am missing out by not going to the Grand Canyon. Thanks for sharing these...

    1. You're welcome! And yes, the Grand Canyon is an incredible place. Most visitors only see a tiny part of its variety (even those who hike to Phantom Ranch and back again).

  2. That canyon would seem something out of a fantasy novel if you didn't have pictures to prove it was real.

    And thanks for the intro to Colin Fletcher. Will have to check him out. Quick question: his Thousand Mile Summer is listed under "Travel with Pets," but I didn't see any pet in the photo or reviews. Just a mislabeling, or did he bring his pet mouse in his pack?

    1. Huh. I don't remember any pets, but it's been a while since I last read the book. Clearly I should read it again to be sure. :)