CREDOS : The guide — IV

He was just a skinny, bearded middle-aged guy caked with mud. He bounded right up the muddy slope to us and had to shout to be heard above the raging water.

“Now’s our best chance!” he said. “We should hurry down before a rockslide starts again. Then we can catch up with Bright Angel farther on.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Dad asked. “Don’t worry,” the hiker replied, “I have known this trial ever since my childhood. We just have to go down one at a time, so we don’t kick any rocks on each other. Do you follow me!”

“Alex, you go first,” Dad said. Then he nudged me, “Your turn, Adam.” The hiker seemed to know exactly where the surest footing was, and I followed in his steps as best I could. The rain stopped, turning into a thick fog rising up from the bottom of the canyon. I could barely see my little brother in front of me, but the hiker seemed to have no problem.

“Hurry now!” he shouted. “This way.” Finally we caught up with Bright Angel Trail again. We followed it for about a mile until we reached another washout. Though the water was moving fast, it was only about four feet across. The hiker jumped, clearing the water easily. “Hop across!” he shouted from the other side.

Alex jumped, and the hiker grabbed him. I went next. I landed on the edge of the water and almost fell backward into it, but the hiker had a good hold on me and lifted me right out with one arm. —