Thursday, November 4, 2010

Serendipity - A Grand Canyon Story


1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

2. good fortune; luck

A fine example of Serendipity occurred in my world, just this past week. Serendipity is when your camera gets returned to you, 3 weeks later, after you leave it in a rental car in Las Vegas.

Yes, I'm a lucky lady. My camera arrived this week in the mail, with my much anticipated Grand Canyon photos. It was also serendipitous that Keith and I had a family wedding in Vegas in October, because that meant we could take a little extended trip and go run "the Big Ditch."

The hubby had it right, when he decided we needed to do something special in the Grand Canyon. Instead of the standard R2R2R which most ultra runners want to notch in their belts, we opted for the R2R2R2R. That's short-speak for rim to rim to Relax to rim. Now that's special.

It was also serendipitous when we arrived at the North Rim Lodge, after a full day on the trail, only to find the fancy-pants restaurant was booked solid. We ended up at the local pizza place, where the pizza was hot and oh-so-tasty and the beer was cold and sweet. Serendipitous, I tell you.

The weather in the Grand Canyon was perfect. A few days prior, it was raining sideways and turning the Colorado River a matching shade of brown. We enjoyed 2 glorious days running in perfect, warm, sunny, bluebird Arizona days. Pure, Serendipity.

Just as we arrived at the top of the South Rim, after our 2 days of bliss, I ran into my old trail running buddy Doran. It was a busy day on the rim, with people everywhere. Any sooner, I would have missed him but there he was, almost like he was waiting for us to say "Hi".
Doran lives in Calgary and I haven't seen him in about 5 years. Serendipitous.

Needless to say, it all made for a great Grand Canyon trip. This was an early anniversary trip for Keith and I, this past weekend we celebrated 12 years of togetherness. Our meeting, back-in-the-day was a virtual Case Study of
Serendipity. I met Keith while hitchhiking from the Lake Louise Ski Hill to the village of Lake Louise, a village of about 300. I would say that for most of my life, I've been blessed with an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident and with good fortune and good luck. I really do have a golden horseshoe up my ass, but more than that I seem to have a knack for making good things happen.

Excited Keith

Wahoo! It's a big playground.


A Happy Wife is a Happy Life :)

Descending South Kaibab Trail

Going, down.

A Shower at Ribbon Falls

Box Canyon

Climbing out of the canyon to the North Rim

Almost there.

North Rim - check.

After completing the relaxing part of the R2R2R2R, Keith gave me a little present. He told me he was going to start his descent an hour and a half early, so I could enjoy a little solo rip down from the North Rim to the Colorado. And, rip I did. But, the canyon kept stopping me dead-in-my-tracks and demanding that I take photos of it.

It was a glorious morning to be running the Grand Canyon and I caught up with Keith, just before Phantom Ranch. It was rather serendipitous timing. Actually, it was perfect timing. We had a treat, relaxed and cooled the jets at the Ranch before heading out into the heat of the day.

From the river we continued, onward and upward. Savoring our day, the heat, the moment and the awesome scenery of the Grand Canyon.

Cool in the Grand Canyon

We marveled at the lushness of the Canyon, a place known for it's unforgiving desert-scape. Surprisingly, the Grand Canyon has a lot of water flowing through it. And where there's water, there's an abundance of life. For Keith, it was quite the serendipitous discovery. He sure did appreciate the shade that Mother Nature was offering up.

Done: R2R2R2R complete!

All and all, it was a serendipitous adventure. Things just flowed along and it was fun to discover and explore the Grand Canyon with my favorite guy.

So here's to the Grand Canyon, to marriage, to the good-life that we share and to many more years of Serendipity.


Tamara said...

Yes! Indeed ... you have a happy heart so many happy experiences come your way. Keep it going you two!

slowrunner said...

can i come on your anniversary with you next year . . .
lotsaluv from your partner (and keith's other wife)

Leslie's Keith said...

Awesome post Les! Thanks for being my partner in so many ways!...(and Kendra...Anytime!)



Meghan said...

Happy anniversary, friends! What a way to spend it. Hugs!

milsom said...

I like the R2R2R2R idea! That means you can start later and actually see things on your descent from the south rim, rather than just seeing the glow from your headlamp.

Paige said...


Mary said...

Beautiful photos! Makes me want to go back!

Max Savio said...

It moved me to see those photographs

Happy anniversary and "Bravissima" !!

Helen said...

Congrats to both of you, for the run and for the happiness you share. What serendipitiously perfect weather you had! Such clarity in photos. Very relieved that your camera was safely returned.

Leslie said...

Hi Tam, Aaaaaw. It warms my heart. But maybe there's something to that! We are a mighty duo - bwaahaa-ha!

Hi Kendra, if the anniversary runs not on my anniversary, why not?
What could go wrong? :)

Why hello, Leslie's Keith. Happy Anniversary.

Thanks, Ms. Meghan!

Hi Milsom. Hell, yeah it's a good idea. 2 days in the canyon is better than one! Well... I've done both and both were awesome.

Hi Paige and Mary,
Aaaah. Sweeeet Canyon. I'll be back.

Hi Max! and thanks!

Hi Helen, yup the camera found it's way back to me. Serendipity!

HappyTrails said...

Stunning pics - and the scenery is not bad either!! Congratulations to you both on the anniversary and an awesome trip. Pretty sweet that someone returned the camera - would have been a drag to lose the photo memories!!!

Brian said...

"Serendipity is my tour guide; aided by caprice"...Pico Iyer's words have guided my travels fo r some time now. Isn't it fun?!

Kaz said...

I only just realised you updated. Happy Anniv! What a fab thing to do. I LOVE the idea of R2R2R2R - hard trail running with relaxation and luxury - life just does not get any better! It's such a stunning place. My hubby and I went on a whim when away travelling for a while and were so glad we went - awesome barely describes it.

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