I went with him, took one look at the mountain and we merged. It was hard to tell us apart. One rock, one mind.
While construction of the South Face road began, we lived in Scotsdale in the new AURA offices. My sleeping spot, well, hide out, was under the desk. The wait for the studies to be done, the geological and meterological data gathering, was two years so we moved into a house next to the Goldwater ranch in Scottsdale.
My schooling resumed, alas.
The school was next to a huge graveyard. Excellent choice. The children had various superstitions for dealing with this unlucky happenstance. Crossing themselves, going to the off side of the busses, I thought this was funny. Death. Interesting.
My first day at Kiva elemetary school, I stood next to the gates of the cemetary and waited to be put on my bus. I was still in kindergarden. A teacher waved me aboard and off we drove. We drove over hill and foothill. This was my second day in Scottsdale and I was already unified with Camelback mountain.
"My home isn't over here", I said from the back.
"This is the last stop, kid, get off", said the bus driver. I squinted into the far distance. "But this isn't my home", I said. I got off.
Using the shape of Camelback Mountain and the water tower on the horizon and triangulating with a grove of palm trees, I set out, cross country, heading towards the Goldwater ranch. I walked and walked. It was a long, long hike. Up and down, mostly following gullies, I kept going forwards, climbing hillocks to take measure of my path. Suddenly, as the sun was setting, I noticed strange men moving stealthily through the desert. This filled me with fear so I hid and became a very stealthy person, myself. Carefully eluding them, I dodged every one as I headed for home.
The sun was setting. A bunch of colorful cars were sitting guard at my house. I was footsore, hungry and tired. Here was my home, barricaded by strangers!
I was too tired to deal with them all so I ran past them as fast as possible and burst into the livingroom. My father was sitting there, crying. "Daddy," I yelled, "I don't want to take the bus anymore. It is a LOONG walk home from the bus stop".
The sheriff laughed and laughed. He gave me a licorice stick and I sat on my dad's lap and recounted my journey over and over until he got all the details right.
The bus driver was fired. I had to go back to school. Rats.