Friday, June 23
On our way into the town of Page, we passed a place Diane had mapped as a possible hiking location, a switchback in the Colorado River called Horseshoe Bend. That Friday morning, we woke and made the decision, yes, we would definitely try Horseshoe. We slathered on sunscreen and hopped into the car. I missed a crucial turn but found the park soon enough, where I was shocked to discover an admission charge.
I should probably mention that Diane hides the cost of some things from me, particularly during vacations, and I am probably glad she does. I would normally rather fight - regular fist fighting at least with strike-above-the belt rules - than pay money for the privilege of taking a walk to see something in which I have no real interest. And yet the slightly horrified and resigned look of the attendant stopped me from making a fuss. You don’t get to fight the state governor, after all; it wouldn’t be practical; and the attendants make a minimum wage that just about keeps them from being condescending to yokels like me who expect free access to public spaces.
Anyway, I paid ten dollars to enter the state park. And we hiked because Diane likes hiking but she also likes me. And the view was indeed beautiful.
Another aspect of life to which I’m not accustomed yet is Instagram vacationing. Diane and I had arrived just after sunrise. The light was wonderful. Naturally, above the cliffs of Horseshoe Bend were lines of young people taking glamorous selfies. They were dressed almost like hikers but somehow in form fitting outfits that were spotless. They were polite, smiled, took turns, and offered to help us. One pair of young starlets gave me their camera and asked if I would take their picture together.
I took a few with them smiling broadly and professionally like fashion models. Then I leaned and said to Diane, “Show them your fathers trick for getting expressions.”
The two girls glanced at my wife. She dutifully gave them the finger. They burst into startled, possibly scandalized laughter. I took half a dozen shots of them with their genuine, much larger smiles.
Horseshoe Bend remained glamorous and scintillating in the background, of course. And the girls exclaimed over how nice they looked in the photos. Although I think they walked away wondering what to do with them.