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Hotel El Tovar

Thirty minutes later Katie followed him into the grand entrance of the El Tovar Hotel.

“Good afternoon, may I help you?”

“Room for two, for Dr. Evans.” He looked around at the beautiful rustic hotel, built from massive logs of ponderosa pine and giant slabs of limestone. The hotel was three stories high, designed in a Swiss Alps chalet motif. It was exquisitely beautiful in an old European style. The support timbers were dark, dark brown, almost black with age, giving the open space a feeling of massiveness and strength.

“Were you able to get me a room overlooking the canyon?”

“Yes, we were, Dr. Evans.”

“Good!” He grabbed Katie, sharing his excitement. “Can you send a bottle of chardonnay up, please? And make a reservation for two for dinner at six.”

“No, make that four, Rory. Remember René and Pelipa are coming.”

“Oh, yeah, four. But what happens if they come early, and we haven't finished? That only gives us a few hours.”

“I think there will be more than enough time.” Katie smiled at the thought of three hours alone with him.

Their lovemaking was surprisingly quick, however. The sweethearts had been apart for almost two weeks, now.

“More wine, honey? Do you want a massage or a soak?” Rory wanted to please his beautiful woman.

“The bathtub’s too small to share, Tarzan. I suggest we go out and look at the scenery.”

“Oh no. I like looking out over the Grand Canyon from our room here. We’re not going to get a better and more comfortable view. Come here and take my picture.”

“No, I’m not going to take a picture of your bright, white butt while you look out the window.”

“You can put it in your wallet, you know. Here, let me see your bruise, where you got kicked. Does it hurt? Are you sure you don't want a massage? There's still more wine.”

“No, I want to go outside. Now get dressed, Dr. Evans.” She was up and gathering her clothes. She meant business, and he would be left alone if he didn't start moving. He pulled on his pants and shirt, took another sip of wine, and walked back to the window while she laced her shoes.

“Last time I was here I camped in the bottom, a mile below,” Rory said. “The top of Bright Angel Trail is somewhere up here, but that was ten years ago. Let’s go out and find the trail head, alright?”

“Umm, hmm. Here’s your hat, cowboy.”

Outside the hotel, they stopped on the well-paved Rim Trail

“Oh, I love this place.” Rory looked directly across the wide-open space divided by a river out of sight at the bottom of the chasm. “This view is just breathtaking, Katie. There’s a timeline in front of us here, millions of years of exposed rock, untouched by the hand of progress, too rugged to subdue.”

“Sort of like the Diné, Rory. But the bilagáana have managed to conquer the place.”

“Is this a social commentary? Are you registering a complaint perhaps?”

“No, it’s a realization. When white people came, there was no turning back for us. If not Europeans it would have been the Russians who moved to Northern California or the Spaniards who came from the south. America’s native peoples were too unsophisticated and unguarded to compete with the aggressive men who came from the other side of the globe. As the world grew smaller, indigenous tribes fell like dominoes.”“Because we were superior.” He knew she wouldn't let this go.“No, not superior, you’re just an asshole.”He smiled. He loved to piss her off. He quickly changed the subject.

“We're looking for the Bright Angel Trailhead.”

“Bright Angel Trail is this way, Rory.” She pointed to the sign right in front of them.

"Okay, let’s go and see if I can find any good memories.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I was with the Boy Scouts when we went down there. I attribute the bad memories to teenage idiocy. But I feel a difference standing here as an adult. There's a wildness here I didn't notice before.”

“You are feeling the tug of the ancients, Rory. Their voices fly along the wind. All the tribes have a long history of explanations for what you are feeling.”



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