A VW van stopped and picked me up. The two freaks in the van were
going to school at the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff
and they invited me to go with them to the bottom of the canyon
where they planned to camp. Upon arriving at the canyon rim, I was
shocked. I had never seen anything so beautiful. I had seen gorgeous photographs of the Grand Canyon, but you don’t get the big picture until you’re standing at the rim, it was awesome. As we hiked down the canyon the temperature dramatically increased.
The 11.2 miles down to the Colorado River took most of the
day to hike. It was a walk into history because the farther down the
canyon I went the older the rock became. Walking down past the
different colored strata was a remarkable experience. My feet were
still sore from climbing in the mountains, so I walked barefoot most
of the way. While hiking, I also got to know Peter and Larry better.
Peter didn’t know what he wanted to do in life. His parent’s were
paying for his education and he thought Arizona would be a fun place to go to school. Larry, on the other hand, was into sculpture big time. They were both from N.Y.C. and both really nice guys.
That was the supreme test to see how hard the bottoms of my feet
were and they passed (I’ve always enjoyed walking barefoot). When
you’re walking down a hill your toes are forced into a clump, but
when you go barefoot you alleviate that problem.
At the bottom of the canyon there were a bunch of freaks
camping in hollowed out cubicles in the side of the cliff. They told
us they had been there for a week and they were almost out of food.
A solution to their problem seemed as easy as climbing out of the
canyon, but their situation was a little more complicated. The
freaks had been eating gypsum weed (the cowboy’s loco weed) for
almost the entire week and they were really fucked up. They told us
that they couldn’t walk back up the canyon, but it didn’t look like
they were that desperate to me. Larry was familiar with the weed and he told me that it was the belladonna in it (a poison) that fucked
with you. I’ve smoked grass cut with belladonna before, so maybe
those guys were desperate after all. Anyway, we left them to their
problems, and walked toward the river.
Larry and Peter had arranged to meet four friends at the
bottom of the canyon and sure enough we found them in a party mood. After we set up camp and were sitting around the fire one of their friends reached in his pocket and brought out two hits of mescaline, one for Larry and one for Peter. The dudes were already tripping and they wanted Larry and Peter to catch up, which they immediately did. Poor me was left straight, but not for long. While the boys were waiting for the mescaline to come on I was eating weeds.