“North Rim, right?” an older couple asked us while nodding at us, like, please say you are going to the north rim.
Later, another participant, with whom I geeked out about birds, told us that we'd better be heading to the north rim.
We were. I had read about the crowds at the South Rim and I wanted something different.
I got it. In the best way.
North Rim was amazing. Chill. We walked out to Bright Angel Point the first early evening. The next day, we took a hike to a place aptly named Cape Final. We had the place to ourselves in comparison to how we experienced Zion.
I was glad to leave Utah behind.
I was very very glad for a national park campground with lows in the 50s.
I was ecstatic over the clean bathrooms with soap.
But we lost London on our first day there—we'd walked to Bright Angel Point, like I said, and as we were walking back, we stopped a moment to let Niles catch his breath. London kept going. We followed...and then never caught up with her.
I sent Brooklyn to the truck. I sent Bix back along the trail. I stayed with Niles for a few minutes at the visitor center, and when Brooklyn came back, I left the two of them on the front porch and I hunted the other end of the trail.
It was a terrifying 15 minutes.
I finally found her wandering in the parking lot, obviously looking for the truck. She was crying. I texted Bixby (thank God there was coverage at the North Rim) and I held onto her. She was embarrassed for getting separated—she'd seen a bird, and got intrigued, followed it along the path past the visitor center. Aww, a bird.
All was well.
All was so very much well.
Our second evening, I walked down to where the campground meets the sky, sat on a downed tree staring out at the magnificence. It was the best part of the whole trip, sitting there in the waning sunlight taking in the view in silence.
All was well.