Perhaps we said "what happens in the canyon stays in the canyon."
Perhaps we said "what they don't know won't hurt them."
Perhaps Uncle Jim said, "You girls are bad, just evil."
I first noticed him at Phantom Ranch. Rachel was bent over the fountain collecting the cool stream in her shirt and bandana to wrap around her tired shoulders and back. His excess rippled as he walked towards her. Piles upon piles of excess. Each ab tightly packed. Biceps dripping down his arms. Calves as hard and sculpted as the peaks of the canyon. Two rolling hills sat on his shoulders and arched into mountains when he lifted an arm to turn on the faucet.
Let us be clear about that which we are discussing - this man was ripped.
Rachel had noticed him too. She straightened and smiled and after a few fluttering moments of conversation floated back over to our picnic table.
We perched like vultures.
We plotted his takedown.
It was getting close to shove off time and while I had no desire to (lies), I too had to approach Adonis if I wanted to fill up on water for the trip up.
He was still strutting around in place in his tiny shorts and even tinier backpack.
"Are you done with this, mind if I jump in?" I asked nonchalantly.
"Yeah go for it. Are you camping down here tonight?" he flashed his brilliant smile.
"No actually we're headed to Indian Garden soon."
"Is that your group over there? Is that your dad?"
"No actually it's my friend and my uncle."
"Oh nice. I'm here with my parents. We're on vacation here from Canada. They're at the top of course. I just took the shuttle to the other rim this morning and I'll meet them back at the lodge tonight."
"Wait, you're hiking from rim to rim in one day? And all you brought is that tiny bladder?"
"I have some energy bars in here too of course. I train a lot so it's not a big deal. I saw this one guy coming down the trail though who was in bad shape. Probably shouldn't even be hiking actually. He was sitting on the side of the trail and I asked if he was alright and he said he was feeling dizzy, so I carried his pack for him down to the next stop and left it for him."
I too was starting to feel dizzy. Perhaps the beer was going to my head or his pointed smile was making me addled. Would he carry my pack to the next stop too? Or perhaps just carry me and I could leave the pack.
"Wow that's really nice of you. Well it looks like my group is starting to put on their packs. I should probably get ready too." I was antsy to get away before I said something stupid.
"What did you say your name was again?"
I hadn't. Sneaky.
"Nice to meet you Lacey, I'm (some boring name). I'm going to head out here too. Maybe I'll see you at Indian Gardens." Adonis said. He tied his bandana back around his forehead and adjusted his shorts on his ridged waist and with one last smile headed back down the trail.
If my cheeks were flushed at this point it was definitely just the heat.
I tottered back to the picnic table.
"Well are you going to invite him to camp with us or what, sheesh," Uncle Jim teased. "We could probably use him around for when I twist an ankle and have to be carried up. Though I don't think I'm who he'd like to carry up. I thought you both already had boyfriends, never know it the way you were ogling that poor guy."
"He was no poor guy and yes we do have perfectly wonderful men of our own at home,"I replied.
Being in the canyon is like being shipped away to war, right? It's desolate and foreign and scary and lonely and well if a walking, talking, rippling Adonis walks into your life you will at least stop to stare.
Having a partner doesn't blind your eyes to beauty!
We were just looking and smiling and perhaps giggling flirtatiously!
He started it, okay?!
Uncle Jim was deaf to our protests. So we stopped protesting and switched to praising his lovely physique and his kind heart and his impeccable social skills. We plotted ways to snare him.
But like I said what happens in the canyon (nothing happened Phil), stays in the canyon. And while we kept an ever watchful eye out for a scantily clad greek statue on the trail the rest of the day, we never saw him again.