After escaping the snowstorm and the threat of being trapped in the mountains, we headed west. The snow followed us for some time. Eventually we passed an unseen barrier and the familiar hue of the desert greeted us once more.
My wife and I looked at each other alongside the edge of an anomaly it seems in this part of the world, a river. Flowing slowly, we could not help but notice the contrast of this dark and rather blueish water against the barren and orange tinged desert. We had chosen this town, Green River, Utah, as a respite before the second half of our trip and the spot where we would make our turn back towards the desert and ultimately to the conclusion of our honeymoon.
Standing next to this unassuming river, I couldn’t help but imagine what the early explorers of this region felt. Could they sense the depth and magnitude of what this river ultimately turns into many miles away from this bucolic and ebbing trickle of water? Could they know about the challenges and rewards this small river would lead to? Like the chapters that lay before us, my wife and I can sense the potential of the life that waits for us. A life together that we both turned towards, decided to create together.
It is hard to imagine that the Grand Canyon is what lies at the end of this small pathway of water. John Wesley Powell, one of the chief explorers of the Grand Canyon, passed this spot in his first expedition in 1869. I could see the silhouette of a one-armed man drifting past as I thought about the journey he underwent.
I could not help but think about the challenge of Powell’s first expedition and its comparison to the challenge and adventure of marriage. Powell’s first expedition was challenging and dangerous. The team experienced numerous cases of near drownings in places like Disaster Falls and Desolation Canyon not far from where we stood. Despite the challenges, they continued because of their goal; to explore the blank spaces on the map. Even after all they had already endured, near the end of their journey some of the team opted to go no further. These team members eventually parted ways at Separation Canyon never to be seen again. Despite these losses and the challenges, Powell’s expedition continued after Separation Canyon and ultimately made history a few days later.
The road ahead looks challenging but it is an adventure we chose together and without fully committing we may not reach our goal. We must continue forward together despite the risks and we turn back at our own peril.
I looked around as I thought all this and I realized I had been standing in reverie for sometime. My wife had already returned to the car and the fisherman to my left looked uneasy. I waved and returned to the safety of the air conditioning.