I want to blog regularly again, but somehow it doesn’t seem to happen. Clearly I need some kind of kick in the pants to do it. And just about the time I started looking for something to deliver that whomp, along came Carole introducing Think Write Thursday (TWT). I signed up. First prompt? The best breakfast I ever had.
Oh boy. I love breakfast. It is my favorite meal. So which of all that I have loved to pick. First to tickle the noggin's neurons is of course eggs Benedict, those yummy little open face sandwiches of Canadian bacon and poached egg on english muffin, all delightfully drizzled in hollandaise sauce. I sat there savoring the image. But on second thought, International House of Pancakes’ Rooty Tooty Fresh n Fruity is (ok was - they messed with that breakfast and now it’s just the pancakes with fruit - meh) just as sensorially scintillating. But life events tinged so many of those breakfast events that I really can’t isolate any one of them as the best breakfast I’ve ever had. They just don’t bring a smile up anymore.
The memory of a breakfast that does make me smile was about achievement rather than palate pleasing. It was the day I turned 21. I was a college student in Wyoming. I decided to celebrate the occasion by joining a college sponsored spring break hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. 16 of us went. We were each limited to about 60 pounds of stuff to put in our backpacks, including tents and cooking gear. Our food choices were limited both by what we could carry and what would stay fresh so there was no Eggs Benedict. We did have eggs though, but a limited number so we used them for making things like pancakes, not frying or scrambling.
Spring being spring, we had a lot of wet weather. Chilly wet weather. Relentless chilly wet weather. Our tents did not leak but they and our sleeping bags absorbed the wet right out of the air, and we ended up moving into a cliff in search of dry. We lined the edge of the cliff with rocks as a barrier against falling off. But there was another danger lurking. At the end of our 4th day as we recounted our adventures, we discovered one member of our group had slipped into hypothermic coma. We found the driest clothes among us and put her in those, then slipped her into the driest sleeping bag with another woman for body heat, and crossed fingers she would survive while 4 members of our group headed up the canyon, only 1 mile vertically but about 7 miles of strenuous and sometimes nearly obliterated trail, to get help.
That was a tense night. Would she live? Would the 4 night hikers get to the top safely and in time? Would those of us waiting be able to pack her out ourselves if help didn’t arrive? Thankfully, the answers to the first 2 questions was yes so we didn't have to answer that 3rd question. A helicopter arrived around 10 am and took her out of our care. All we had to do then was get our soggy and much sobered selves back up to the rim of the canyon.
Accommodations at the rim that time of year were quite limited. Rooms were available, but not much in the way of food. For my 21st birthday breakfast, the other hikers presented me with a snack food snowball, complete with a lit match stuck in it and a round of "happy birthday to you." But that silly snowball was much more a celebration of survival and testing mettle for all of us than it was a birthday breakfast for just me. But that makes it the best breakfast I have ever had.