Inside this book we have captured snapshots of our worlds, both the real and the imaginary. The writings blend humor, a bit of serious reflection, and some pure whimsical fantasy. We hope you find them entertaining, encouraging, and maybe even thought provoking.
The full moon hike would start in ten minutes. We were determined to make it. The speedometer needle climbed to 60 miles per hour. The rental car began to tremble as we closed fast on the car in front of us. Out here in the middle of nowhere, we were stuck behind a slow moving vehicle and forced to reduce our speed. The car’s trembling ceased, but minutes were slipping by. Finally, we were able to pass.
Our plight was a result of Daylight Savings Time and three time zones in three days. Somewhere along the way we had lost an hour.
The parking lot was full when we arrived, but the meeting place was empty. We grabbed our sweatshirts and dashed up to a couple sitting on the porch of a restaurant.
“Did you see which way the group with the ranger went?” I asked.
They pointed, and we ran. About 100 yards away we caught sight of them standing on the edge of the canyon. In our best casual manner we sauntered up and joined the back of the group. While the ranger concluded his talk about the moon’s orbit, I tried to don my sweatshirt discretely and quiet my labored breathing. A cool breeze brushed my skin making me glad for the fleecy warmth.
It wasn’t quite dark, but the full moon dominated a cloudless sky. Our tour started down the narrow path into the canyon.
One side was a sheer drop off. On the other side a wall of colorful rock rose up. Occasional openings left the path exposed on both sides. Pebbles rattled behind me when someone’s foot slipped in the loose gravel. I pictured him falling and carrying us both over the edge. Now I understood the park rules requiring shoes with lugs.
At points along the way we paused, and our guide shared nocturnal tales of the full moon. Facts about flora and fauna of the region gave way to epic lore and myths. Scattered stars began to appear. His quiet voice led us back to a distant time when Native American accounts of the heavens and rock formations around us came to life.
As night deepened, the moon appeared to get brighter and cast its light earthward. Hoodoos resembling animals or stone figures in the daytime, were now the shadowy sentinels of the night.
Moonlight illuminated the path as if we were walking under a streetlight. We passed in front of a wall of rock, and our moon shadows danced eerily on its surface. It was almost bright enough to read by.
Our last stop was on an exposed outcrop. Before us lay a moonscape right out of a 1950’s science fiction show or an H.G. Wells novel. Skinny, twisted trees rose up from ground that was otherwise devoid of vegetation. Their exposed roots were raised in the air as if they were aliens walking on their toes across the barren ground. After a quiet moment of meditation the group began to break up and start the slow ascent back up the steep path.
Early next morning we took the same hike in daylight. This time we followed the trail all the way to the canyon floor. Vivid colors and crisp images replaced the previous evening’s mysterious shadows and stark beauty. By day or by night it was a land of fascination, with secrets waiting to be revealed to anyone with a heart for wonder.