FINALIST

@quesa_dilly

It was May 2019, and those of us graduating from school could feel the nervous buzz that comes with stepping into a new chapter. We agreed it was the perfect time to get away from it all, and no better place to do it than the Grand Canyon. An eight-hour drive turned to ten as we navigated a dizzying number of dirt roads to finally find the unmarked trailhead. Then came the most challenging part of the journey. 40lb backpacks, 3000ft elevation drop, 105-degree heat, and only a few cairns to mark the way. There was sweat, there was swearing, and yes there was even dehydration sickness, but we made it...together. Knees buckling, we collapsed into turquoise blue water, remaining there until the sun sank well below the warm canyon walls. The gurgling river and harmonious tune of the crickets lulled us to sleep while the rising moon cast a shadow on the tall reeds beside us. As we hiked out the next day, we could hear the booming sound of a revolver reverberating off the canyon walls, a salute to the American Southwest - a place where many before us had come to find mischief and adventure.

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