02 July 2008

The Tourist...

The last Sunday in June. 2008

Sunday was spent tooling around the Northcountry with Tom. Rich was there, of course, who else better to drive the scooter (the name he's affectionately calling his Nissan Versa) and lead the tour, than the ultimate tour guide? Rich had been trying to talk us into another Arizona spot, but Tom chose Sedona. And really, why not? Sedona, like The Grand Canyon, is one of the more beautiful spots here in Arizona.

Arizona is so surprising...The desert one minute, red rocks the next...interlaced with delightful water features?

We found ourselves at a trail towards Cathedral Rock...winding in and out of hot sand, and cool trees...being chased along by the babbling brook...ahem. That sounds a bit like a story doesn't it?

OK...realistically? It was flipping hot...had to have been around 90something and it wasn't even near 10am yet. Yeah, it's Arizona, it's a dry heat, it's the summertime...blah blah blah.

When pulling into the non-manned fee-area of this particular park, and after scrambling for change to stuff into a park envelope...we scored a spot near the start of a trail, by the restrooms. There was an Asian couple standing there...Actually, to be more accurate, the wife was standing there holding a box of Kleenex in one hand, and a wad of dirty Kleenex in the other. Her job apparently was to hand fresh Kleenex to her husband who was staging an impromptu car was with a bottle of water and the box of Kleenex...he was standing on the bumper of his car just cleaning away.

The car was on.
There were children in it.

I am wondering if they were rolling their eyes? I'm also wondering why this woman didn't throw the wad of dirty Kleenex at this man? She could have later though, we didn't linger long...as it was I tried to shoot her a sympathetic look as I walked by (I was also trying not to laugh because I knew if I started, I would fall on the ground and be absolutely no good for further hiking...) I also looked towards Rich with new appreciation and a secret smile. Just recently, you see, I had looked at the hood of the scooter, and commented on some sort of splash of brown liquid that was sprayed all over side of the hood...

"What's that???" I say as I point at the hood of his brand new white car.

"Hmmmm...I don't know. Tree Stuff? Coffee?" he pauses to lick the end of his finger and then drag it over the offending stain, wiping a bit of the brown off the hood before wiping his now dirty finger on the inside of his shorts pocket, "Well, I don't know exactly...whatever it is, I hope it's not bad for the paint job..."

I suggested using a sheet from the box of Huggies wipes we carry with us to wipe the car down...before the stain sets (as if this is some sort of fancy silk garment) Rich pauses to sigh and looks at me as if I've lost my mind..."What? I mean, they have Shea Butter in them, wouldn't that act as a sort of good wax for the paint job?"

I had a small fleeting thought that maybe that man would wash our car for us while we're out hiking?

I'm just happy
I wasn't found standing next to Rich with a box of premoistened Huggies wipes in one hand, and a bunch of dirty wipes in the other hand. It was too hot to stand in the sun wiping the car down...I'd rather get to that hike!

You'll be happy
to know that most of the time, we found ourselves following a wonderful creek, so it was usually cooler than not. It's so beautiful in Sedona, especially when walking by the water and gazing at all the McMansions...making me question why we never lived here? I posed that exact question to my mother once and she said, "...because it was always expensive..." Well. That's true. So, we just visit a lot instead.

This hike houses one of Sedona's famed vortexes. This is a question that most people pose about Sedona, "Where are the vortexes?" or "I want to go to a vortex!!" I have heard both of these phrases uttered more times than I care to remember by impatient people in a loud demanding way, often accompanied by crossed arms, tapping feet, and out of state license plates. I would imagine that those who work with the public in Sedona probably wish they could throw them in a vortex...but, that's not what vortexes are for. They're for healing...apparently, and making one feel uplifted for days. People come from all over the world to hang out near these vortexes, but I'm telling you...it surely doesn't make them more patient/less rude in the crazy traffic of this tourist destination, or make people obey the "walk" sign when crossing the street (rather they sneak across all hunched over with a mad smile on their faces, thinking we can't possibly see them) maybe vortexes just makes you have this uncontrollable urge to wash your car with Kleenex?

This particular vortex was marked with a healthy amount of cairns. I mean, I guess it was the vortex. Rich said it was, and I tend to believe him as I'm almost an Arizona native, and before I met him I hadn't seen half the places I have since we've been an item. While Rich is very well read about Arizona...I just usually find myself stumbling along stepping over snakes and accidentally discovering things instead. I didn't feel any different after hanging out at the vortex though...Sedona on a whole, has a very interesting energy, so it's kind of hard to tell.

I also made sure to take a picture of Tom and Rich...mostly because when we made the perfunctory stop for Tom to take a picture of Bell Rock (which is a necessity if you visit Sedona...they honestly check you on the way out of town to make sure that you've done this before they let you leave) I asked them if they wanted me to take a picture of the two of them? I mean, after all this is Rich's BFF...

Tom said, "...No...we're not chicks!"

This made me want to get a picture of the two of them together or die trying.

Must. Document. Tom's. Visit. To. Arizona.


I also got a shot of what I like to think of as Bush-Man-Rich...or Rich. Working.

I swear to all that is holy that I was just waiting for a Lion to jump out of the tree line and give him a big lick. Although, that would have been a bit unusual...but, we were near a vortex you must remember...one never knows. And that would have made for a great HDR shot!


And then there was the classic shot of I'm taking a picture of you taking a picture of him taking a picture...

snap again.

After all of us dipping our toes into the creek on multiple occasions, I think we may have all wanted a little swim. I haven't been in a bathing suit in front of anyone willingly since 2001...and we didn't have towels...so there you go. It was also getting quite crowded with people milling about the longer we stayed, and there were lots of young scantily clad girls hopping off rocks, pretending to be scared by spiders on the rocks, and wearing weird large dangling jewelry from their belly buttons...so you can understand if I was a little intimidated (although, this seems to be a regular thing at Water Places in Arizona)
  • Rich just whistled a catchy tune from a favorite South Park episode instead...
  • I prayed for the style of low-rise everything to please stop soon (while I hummed that stupid catchy tune under my breath)
  • I'm not sure what Tom thought (although, he's from Florida, so I have the feeling he's seen such things before)
We eventually made it back to the car, which had not been washed off, but not before being crowded off the trail several times by people who refuse to practice etiquette and walk single file when they see other people coming towards them...I mean, we always walk single file when this happens, but most other people take it as a sign to buddy-up and give us a good elbow jab as they walk by. Then it was off to Jerome for a late lunch at the Haunted Hamburger before zipping home to the Airstream...and saying good-bye to Tom, for now...

I hope he enjoyed his visit...and I am looking forward to seeing him again, especially if his plane gets in on time and he can stay a while.


Indigo Robe said...

Loved this post - filled with humor (Vortexs make you want to wash your car with Kleenex? I was falling off the chair laughing!)

and the guys "we're not chicks" (rolling eyes)

but then you HAD to get a pic of them

THAT IS SOOOO ME!!! I would have made it my mission, too!

Have a wonderful long weekend, if indeed, you get a long weekend!



~Molly~ said...

Gorgeous, just gorgeous! Tell me when the cottonwoods are not blooming, I'm very allergic to them.

So exactly which vortex were you close to? Love the cairns! Are we sure those are actually "made" by the vortex or is it a case of "the vortex made me do it"?


mansuetude said...

i spent about a month in ARizona--my brother was in Sedona and i was in Flagstaf. i got to drive down the canyon to him. it was Amazing. i love the quiet there, the soulful spiritual whatever it is! the sky and the rock, the lack of humidity!

enjoy your summer.


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