Most people who know Eddie and myself will agree quite readily, that out of the 2 of us, I am the worry wart. There are few things that will get Eddie worked up or anxious. "Missed my flight? Eh. Late for work? It'll be fine. Riding in a death cab? When it's my time to go, it's my time." I on the other hand am fairly certain I'm in the process of giving myself a large ulcer due to stress. That's one reason why this trip to the Grand Canyon has been a welcome and unexpected change in our roles.
Of all the things that bother me, heights has never been one of them. While Eddie spent the day in his Park Ranger Training (the whole reason we're out here in the first place), I explored several hiking trails and found the PERFECT one! It was right on the edge. Not so much as a rock wall or fence to keep us from creeping up to the very brim of the enormous hole in the earth.
Proud of my discovery, I took Eddie to the trail, excited to take some pictures out on the great, open canyon. I was shocked to see him immediately become nervous. "Now, stay at least 6 feet back," he began. I dismissed that instruction immediately. The best shots are on the edge!
In Eddie's training, he had been taught the statistics. Nineteen people per year parish at the Grand Canyon from a fall, or otherwise. Just yesterday, sadly, a German tourist was killed when she was struck by lightning. And while he told me all these facts, none of them really scared me.
"Come on," I coaxed, "Let's just get a few shots on one of these ledges that stick out." I went first, hoping he would see that it's not scary.
"Okay, that's far enough" he told me, his voice becoming anxious. But I kept going.
"Uh...." he started nervously, "You know you're my only reason for living, right?"
I had to laugh. Poor Eddie. We took our few photos on the edge then walked back, six feet in. He had to return to his class for the afternoon, but I went back to the trail, walking and snapping photos. Right on the edge.
(Those photos tomorrow)
I did my best "Tarzan" yell.
Nor was he amused when I pretended to fall.