Poking The Bear & Walking On Water (Part Two)

”Your Grandfather likes to poke the bear,” I told our fourteen year old grandson, Aron, dramatically gesturing with my walking stick as we headed out on our early morning hike around this resort built right into the Arizona desert south of Phoenix on an Indian reservation.

”The trick is to NOT get eaten by the bear!” I added as Aron nodded in response to my sage advice.

Remember that’s what I told Aron before we almost suffered heat stroke not a mile away from the luxury resort casino on an Indian reservation that was built into the desert just south of Phoenix, Arizona.

If you haven’t read Part One of this post, go do it right now. We’ll wait. There’re really cool pictures that Aron took with his new iPhone camera to look at too if my prose isn’t enough incentive for you. Here’s one such photo now.

Aron & Grandpa

The Arizona summer sun in the Arizona desert can be mighty merciless. You’d really better respect it’s power or suffer the consequences. One wrong turn and the witless or foolhardy can find themselves suddenly in a web of confusion and despair and worse.

An hour into our hike with the sun rising along with the temperatures and already very humid conditions and Aron out of water, I was kind of wishing that I hadn’t poked this particular bear on this particular morning and was hoping that I could find a way to ensure that this bear did NOT eat us.

But it isn’t in my makeup to turn back, so we pressed forward, convinced as I was that there must be a shortcut for us just up ahead and around the next bend . . . the likely last thought of many past victims of the Arizona sun and desert.

Sun Stroke

Seeing some golf course maintenance workers up ahead who were all working in this heat with sweat dripping down their faces but who also had maintenance carts at their disposal, I felt vindicated in my resolve.

When we reached them, I asked one of the sweat drenched workers if we could find a place up ahead where we could cross the lagoon to get back the hotel that we could clearly see but couldn’t reach without swimming through the lagoon.

“Nope,” the worker said. “This path goes miles up that way and around the hotel with the lagoon between the path and it the entire way. You should just turn around and go back the way you came.”

Not wanting to retrace our steps for another hour or so beginning to feel exhausted as I was with Aron out of water and my bottle already half drunk, I asked the worker for help.

“Could you give my grandson and me a ride back to the hotel on your maintenance cart?” I was sure that he’d say “Yes, of course,” because everyone at this resort hotel had been so gracious and accommodating to our every need and request.

“Nope,” said my naysayer whose face began to morph in my mind to that of the grim reaper. “I’m not allowed to do that.”

“But you WOULD use your cart to haul our heat-stroked carcasses back to our grief-stricken families waiting for us at your hotel, I hope, rather than letting them rot in the desert as a warning to other guests not to bother you, wouldn’t you,” I thought but didn’t say. “OK, thanks,” I meekly said, “for nothing,” I added in my thoughts. “C’mon, Aron, let’s keep going.”

And up around the next bend and through the mesquite trees was a little used ford that crossed the lagoon that the grim reaper had neglected to mention.

Aron and I had poked the bear and lived to tell the tale . . . we then walked on water back to our hotel and safely concluded our morning’s adventure!

“When the legend becomes fact . . . “

[Note: All of the photos were taken by Aron Salazar using his phone camera.]

2 responses to “Poking The Bear & Walking On Water (Part Two)”

  1. Joe’s Email Avatar
    Joe’s Email

    As I said never outwalk your water

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Or your luck . . . or the Grace of God.

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