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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#216: The Only Way Out is Through

I don't usually like to turn my vacations into business lessons (that's the sort of thing that gets you made fun of on Twitter), but I did have a moment during my most recent trip that seems relevant enough to talk about.

Brian and I were staying outside Sedona, and everyone said we needed to take a day and drive the two and a half hours up to the Grand Canyon, since we were so close. This being a vacation that I had neither the time nor the mental bandwidth to plan, we were pretty much winging it, and our trip to the Grand Canyon was no different. We got up at 4:45 a.m. (we were trying to stay as close to Eastern Time as we could), hopped in the car and headed north, no research, no reading.

When we got to the Grand Canyon, it was pretty empty, and we saw that there was a 2.5 mile trail around the rim, and a shuttle we could take back to the visitor's center when we were done staring into the abyss. After three days of much longer, harder hikes, this seemed like the perfect way to get a little bit of exercise and see the sights. We would also be off the trail before the sun got too hot, we thought. (We hadn't applied sunscreen because we thought this would be a quick in-and-out experience.)

You can probably see where this is going. After hiking the 2.5 miles around the rim, we were starving and sweaty, but the café had sold out of anything vaguely resembling real food. We scarfed a couple of pre-packaged muffins (you have to eat fast because the squirrels literally swarm anyone with food), and set out to find the shuttle back to our car.

The shuttle wasn't running, due to something with Covid-19 (even though several other shuttles were running, which was a real mystery.) Our quick jaunt to see the Seventh Wonder of the World had, just like that, turned into a fiercely hot, sun-baked march back to our car, in the wrong shoes, without sunscreen. (Thank God we had plenty of water.)

We trudged along a greenway, which was slightly shorter and more shaded than the rim trail, feeling our skin burn and blisters form on our feet. What had started off as a lovely, easy walk in the vastness of nature contracted down to putting one (painful) foot in front of the other as quickly as possible. It was not fun. But the only way back to the car, and air conditioning, and real food, and a shower, was to get through it.

And that's life. And business. And everything. Sometimes, shit doesn't break your way, and you have to slog through it for a while.


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