Nacho Libre and the Grand Canyon

Posted in: Uncategorized- Nov 25, 2016 No Comments

One clear September morning we knelt on the rim of the Grand Canyon between the blue sky and red rocks watching condors ride the thermals below. We’d been to the canyon before but never seen condors, so this was unexpected and awesome.  Back in the 1980s condors were driven to near extinction, so in 1987 all wild condors were brought into captivity for breeding.  Today there are about 70 of them living in northern Arizona and southern Utah near Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. The park ranger said these birds probably lived in the caves below the rim of the canyon where wild nests now cradled condor chicks.  Like acolytes we watched them softly spiral, massive 9-foot wings unfurled, unruffled, graceful, and ephemeral.

Behind us a frustrated but patient Indian gentleman (dots, not feathers) was trying to encourage his young daughter to come and enjoy the incredible natural wonder they had traveled so far to see.  She, however, did not give a shit and thought the Grand Canyon was boring. To make her point she parked herself on a rock far away from the family with her back to the rim ignoring him, them, nature, god, and the birds.  Father’s passionate reasoning had little effect.  She wasn’t in the mood.

Back at the lodge that night we curled up to watch a show called Star Talk with Neil de Grasse Tyson whose guest was an American astronaut who told a story about one mission when he and a fellow astronaut were staring out the shuttle window watching earth go by at 18,000 miles an hour and gazing in awe at the Clouds of Magellan.  For the astronomically challenged among you, the Clouds of Magellan are two dwarf galaxies containing billions of stars that satellite around the Milky Way.  As he recalled the view was so awe inspiring and the moment so transcendent that there was no place in the universe he would rather have been.

Just then one of the other astronauts on board called them to come quickly because they were about to start Nacho Libre a really silly, very funny film with Jack Black who wants to raise money for orphans by moonlighting as a Lucha Libre (a costumed Mexican wrestler) but must keep his identity secret because…….. I’ll say no more.

The point is, who on earth would rather spend two hours watching Nacho Libre than the Clouds of Magellan or sit with their back to the Grand Canyon rather than watch soaring condors against the backdrop of nature’s most spectacular hole in the ground?

Truth is sometimes you just want nachos, not steak and sometimes you prefer a dumb movie to an exploding sun but it’s also true that there are other times when you are just a pain in the ass little brat.  It all depends on the perspective from where you’re sitting.  Enjoy the view.

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