By Kristy McCaffrey
I’m pleased to share the release of my short story Canyon Crossing for only 99 cents.
The idea for the story came from a hike I took in the Grand Canyon a few years ago with my husband and my dad. Grandview Trail, from the South Rim, is an access route from the rim to the Colorado River that’s been in use since 1890 when miner Pete Berry began working the Last Chance Mine. Before that, Hopi Indians gathered mineral paints in the area (Horseshoe Mesa) long before Berry arrived, creating early pathways.
|The view from Grandview Trail.|
We embarked on a sunny and somewhat chilly March morning. Day hikes in Grand Canyon don’t require a permit so we planned to trek as far as we could and turn around before the sun set.
|Me on one of the more precarious sections of the trail.|
Grandview Trail isn’t a beginner’s trail, with the uppermost sections consisting of steep, grueling switchbacks and long stretches that were covered with ice and snow, making it very dangerous. One slip could’ve led to a tumble over the side. And it was a long way down. But my dad made sure we were well prepared with micro-spikes for our hiking boots. However, I regrettably left my walking poles in the car and they were missed.
|Part of the trail consisted of rock.|
We spent the next three hours dropping 2500 feet in elevation. The scenery was breathtaking. We made it as far as Horseshoe Mesa, a total of 3.2 miles. Several old copper mines were located in the area and the paths were fairly well-marked, along with signs warning of radiation. From my research I learned that excessive amounts of radon are present, so no spelunking inside the dark corridors. We hoped to continue out onto the Mesa and enjoy a view of the Colorado River, but we’d reached our designated turnaround time.
|My husband, myself and my dad at the end of the hike.|
In search of her brother, Annabel Cross enters Grand Canyon with a guide and a mule. When circumstances have her hanging from a cliff side, her rescue at the hands of U.S. Deputy Marshal Angus Docherty is fortuitous in more ways than one. He’s chasing the notorious Red Bandit, and it soon becomes clear that Annabel’s brother is mixed up with the criminal as well. While the marshal believes she may be in on a double-cross, she has a more pressing secret to hide. She can talk to deceased spirits, and she wonders whether to tell Angus about the old Apache ever near to him.
(This story previously appeared in the LASSOING A GROOM anthology.)
Only 99 cents
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