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Published: March 25th 2019
We had talked about going to the Grand Canyon on this trip, but it had been staying very cold there lately, and also we had not been able to reserve a camping spot, so we gave it a miss. We’ve both seen it anyway, but neither of us have been to the north rim. That’s not possible at this time of year as the access road is closed, but we thought we’d drive up onto the plateau anyway, just to check it out.
It was a pretty drive over there. The road curved around the Vermilion Cliffs, then through a wide valley before climbing steeply up. We went from sagebrush country up into the green of the junipers, then the piñon pines, and finally the stands of big ponderosa pines. By then, there was snow on the ground, lots of it.
There are many campgrounds up there, even a small lake, but everything was closed for the season. We wanted to fuel the truck, so we wound up going all the way to Paria AZ, almost in Utah, to find an open station.
We then retraced our route back, and stopped at an overlook to have the sandwiches Cathy had made. It was sunny there, but breezy and cool. We had set up our chairs and started eating when another car pulled up. It was a late model Honda sedan, and a guy got out a walked over near us and started talking.
He was mid-thirties I’d guess, well dressed in a casual manner. He talked almost as if he was narrating a film, all about what he was seeing. Was he talking to us? Was he expecting a reply? It was immediately a bit uncomfortable. He said that this valley before us must have been a lake at some time. Not knowing quite what to say, I said very possibly, as the rocks down in the bottom of the small canyon under where we stood looked to me like limestone.
That’s all it took, now he launched into a long and convoluted speech about the “natural history” of this area. I guess I wasn’t surprised, and I half expected to hear about great floods, animals on boats, and a 6000 year time frame, but that was not what we got — not at all.
Some of what he said was quite conventional, he talked about imagining herds of buffalo passing through, and I admitted that I was thinking about the same thing. I also said that if we were here earlier, it might have been herds of mammoth. He said yes, if we were here 14000 years ago. I was impressed, by what science currently knows, that’s a pretty accurate number for the end of the last ice age.
Then, however, his lecture took a turn. He pointed down into the canyon below and said that the curving section there was one of “their” amphitheaters. Who are “they” I wondered, the mammoths? No, he soon revealed, he was talking about the giants. He pointed far across the valley to some high sandstone cliffs across the Colorado River. “There’s one of them right there!”
What he was pointing to was section of this escarpment that was capped with some jagged outcrops. “See” he said, “you can see his forehead, nose, and chin, then farther down, his feet.” He went on to explain that sometimes when these giants died, they laid down and were turned to stone. Here’s a big surprise, he said he had learned all about it on YouTube. Who says the internet is a waste of time?
I glanced over at Cathy, and she seemed amused, but not alarmed. Her demeanor changed however, as our friend’s story took a turn. He continued on about how some folks believe that the giants had mated with human women. This, he said, was ridiculous — the giants penis’s would be much too big, a women could hardly reach around one with both arms. That is now an imaginary vision that I cannot unsee, how about you?
It was at this juncture that Cathy suddenly stood up and decided to take a walk — her mistake — she missed some of the best stuff. Like how even if the giants used artificial means for fertilization, the baby would grow so big the mother would explode. Now that would certainly be regrettable.
I should say here that at no time did either of us feel threatened by this guy, I’m sure he was completely harmless. Wether these beliefs were a result of him being off his meds, (or perhaps being on them) I can’t say. Whatever his problems though, he seemed to be quite able to function in society, and he appeared to be enjoying himself, so more power to him.
After a bit, he seemed to tire of me, and he wandered down into the canyon, maybe to take a seat in the amphitheater? Cathy returned, and we packed up (with some haste) and left. Whatever else that young man may accomplish, we will not soon forget what he told us about the “Mountain Giants”.
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