Cat Had His Tongue


The Canyon trail leading to the Colorado

When Jeb was a young man, many years ago, he decided to follow the Colorado River along its journey through Grand Canyon. Only he intended to hike the distance rather than go by boat. He devoted the winter to prepare for this trek that he assumed would consume the entire summer. Food and water were his primary concerns, but with water purifier tablets and a collection of fish hooks he decided he could fish his way through the canyon thereby avoiding a costly support system.

Jeb took no means of communications. Not even a radio. Folks said he was foolish. There was the danger he might be injured, even break a leg. They were right, but he was young, strong, and foolish.

The adventure was sobering. Along the way he spotted a cliff dwelling he was able to reach. He even spent the night there, sitting the doorway viewing the river and listening to the turbulence as people probably did centuries before Jeb came along.

It was mid-July when his path crossed that used by those who rode horses and mules down the well-worn trail from the South Rim. It was his fortune that a group had arrived only minutes earlier.

A tall, busty blonde, assuming Jeb was one of her horseback group, cast an eye up the vertical cliff that extended up nearly a vertical mile. “My goodness,” she stated, “this must be the end of the line. Don’t you think?”

Jeb only grunted. That was sixty-two years ago. He should have asked her name, but the cat had his tongue.