Part of a month-long series on terrible trips, great journeys and getting lost.
Here are some geographic and economic realities, as any educated European of the late 1400s would have understood them: The European diet was monotonous and people were willing to pay good money for spices to liven up their meals. Those spices for the most part came from places to the east, lumped together in the European mind as "the Indies." The easy and obvious routes there were blocked by Muslim states that were hostile to Christendom, and that made good money on the spice trade and weren't interested in sharing the profits with Europeans. And [...]
Signs posted at the rim of the Grand Canyon warn you not to attempt to hike to the river and back in one day: it's too strenuous, and you need to be prepared with food and a gallon of water per person. Apparently, there are several deaths (especially in the summer months) and 250 rescues made each year, so the National Park Service is serious about this. Typical warnings exhort: "DO NOT attempt to hike from the rim to the river and back in one day, especially May to September."
I arrived at the Grand Canyon in late March. It was Spring Break, 1990.
The first in a month-long series on terrible trips, great journeys and getting lost.
In March, I quit my job in advertising to pursue a career in photography. With no money coming in and gas prices at an all-time high, I decided the timing was perfect for a soul-searching cross-country road trip. For three months I traveled in my FJ Cruiser (a great rig for all the elements, not so great for gas mileage). After a trip to Austin to cover SXSW, my route became a nonsensical zigzag pattern around the western half of the country, the points based on wherever I had a friend to stay with, [...]