For three days it rained and everything he carried except for matches wrapped in oilcloth and tinned coffee got wet. His hat. Pack. Clothes. His boots. He ate cold beans and raw trout. When he looked up he saw the rim of the canyon far above. An unreachable border between worlds. What wilderness lay beyond and what civilization far beyond that had no relation to his presence inside the magnificent greatdeep fissure that split the demanding earth. He had entered the canyon weeks before at its wide and shallow sloped entrance where desert ended and mountains began their ascent. Now enclosed within its transcendent walls and alone with his past he hiked forever upriver. Impelled by a severe and nameless purpose.
Nice Victor. The solitary journey into the wild. They can be physical or metaphorical, as you know. We're never too old to explore the edges.
I agree with Lisa here above; your prose is phenomenal. I grasp the atmosphere you paint for us. I have been near places like this in Arizona and California. But never quite like this. This is what I would imagine hiking the Grand Canyon would be like. Beautiful stuff.
"...for even the rationed view of the sky showed the expansive promise of the world. Made more glorious by its boundaries." I'm continuously impressed as you conjure simple words to cast rich phrases which themselves convene into compelling and complete stories. I enjoyed this one a lot, so much of it felt relatable. We have all journeyed up that canyon with its high water, rattlesnakes and licking bears. And here we are. Thanks for another story, Victor.
Your prose is phenomenal. Stuff like "An assortment of slowpass days" just really get me.
Joycean wordplay, and the canyon is a formidable character unto itself. I’ll have to someday consider one of Mr. Malone’s prompts!
"Now enclosed within its transcendent walls and alone with his past he hiked forever upriver. Impelled by a severe and nameless purpose." That is just one of many phrases that made me moan.
Mike stole my diary and with it my notes about your story! I relate to his 'relatableness'. In fact, I find in this particular story of yours, my Victor Goldilocks Story - a harmony of mystery, questions, reflections, curiosity, hope, courage, insights, darkness and aliveness. to name a few ingredients. Your journey story combines fantastical nature, animals and perils, real and metaphorical. The journey is seen and felt vividly and palpably. And, so, again, I make this about me. smiling... Thank you for this magical story you gift us with. And, like in the carnival house of mirrors, each one of your readers chooses a mirror that best flatters them.
ps. I am out of my Chemex filters and my cat broke my French Press (thus the McDonalds coffee confession). I will use a wash cloth. Thanks, Dad!
Absolutely gorgeous. I want to be in this place. I want to forge ahead in this canyon.
Very well done, Victor. I felt as if I were there with him on this journey through the ravine. I haven't hiked The Narrows here in Utah, but I got to stand at its entrance, and it is much like you've described here. Zion National Park is such a beautiful place and this story teleported me right back. Thank you! Also, the elements of self-discovery melded within the traversal of the natural landscape was grand. Great work all around!
Hints of Cormac McCarty here - I like it a lot but I kind of wish it could be sparer or more anfractuous - good word