Because sometimes I’m not as clever as I think.

 

 

(Shocking, I know. But true.)

Our next Arizona adventure began because I wanted to stand on a corner.

In Winslow.

Are you with me?

I had visions of positioning myself for some epic selfies that would make my friends chuckle and think…

Damn! She’s clever.

 

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So imagine my surprise when we got there….

 

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And realized that standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona was not only a huge tourist attraction, but a freakin’ cottage industry.

 

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I mean, look!

They erected a fake building as a backdrop.

For the sole purpose of people standing on the corner taking selfies.

 

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They even had the flatbed Ford…

 

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And an eagle in the window.

It didn’t take me long to realize I was not at all clever.

Or even original for that matter.

 

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Every single store we passed was loaded with ticky tacky Take It Easy memorabilia.

 

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There were loud speakers playing Eagles music… inside and out… on an endless loop.

 

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I like the Eagles but I swear, if I had to live there?

I’d never want to hear them again.

 

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The sidewalk in front of the famous corner is filled with memorial tiles, the first ones being made of concrete. But Glenn Frey came to town one day and said Hell no, let’s have brick… and donated $5,000 to the cause.

 

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The town has a Take It Easy music festival every year.

And every year they invite the band…

 

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But apparently standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona once  was more than enough for the Eagles.

And for me as well.

I didn’t even take a selfie.

Rocks, a cowboy and not quite the World’s Largest Ball of Twine…..

 

Arizona red rocks.

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Because they’re gorgeous….

 

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And I can.

 

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While cruising through these beauties in Sedona, we spotted our first cowboy.

 

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Okay, he was the only cowboy we ever spotted….

 

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And he probably wasn’t even a real cowboy, because I doubt cowboys live in houses like this…..

 

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But hey –

My post, my delusion.

 

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Our next adventure took us north to Flagstaff on a wonderful scenic road over the mountains and through Oak Creek Canyon.

 

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We’d had a little rain the night before, and when you get a little rain in these parts? You get floods, road washouts and water pouring out of cliff sides.

 

 

Route 89A is 29 miles of twisting, turning, switchback filled climbing.

 

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And well worth taking if you’re ever in the area.

After Flagstaff, we headed east…. where we saw this.

 

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And this.

 

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And a whole lotta this.

 

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Which was basically nothing, for miles on end.

Until…

 

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Until…

 

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We saw this.

 

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What is it?

 

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I have no freakin’ clue!

But clearly it was one of those marvelous old roadside attractions from back in the 50’s or 60’s. You know the ones. The World’s Largest Ball of Twine? The donut shop shaped like a donut?

 

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I’d totally make a pilgrimage to see those.

I mean really….

 

vintage flinstones postcard

 

Who wouldn’t have wanted a Brontosaurus burger?

 

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Or a piece of Shoo Fly Pie served from inside a windmill.

The giant bug is open?

 

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Let’s go!

 

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I was born in the wrong decade….

 

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Because come on, that’s pure gold.

But alas, whatever this was….

 

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It was neglected, abandoned and unloved…

And for sale!

A bygone era brought back to life?

The husband said –

 

 

But oh..

Think of the blogging possibilities.

A lost cause.

 

Making our way up the hill…

 

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We passed gardens.

 

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And rocks!

 

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And then we saw…

 

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The church.

 

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I have to say I was a little disappointed.

The setting and views were drop dead gorgeous…

 

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Look! There’s my Arizona (winters are too cold in Maine) cottage.

But the church itself?

 

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Seemed a bit of a let down.

Granted, I’m not religious and wasn’t filled with the holy spirit…

 

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But when we opened the door…

 

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And stepped inside?

I admit it.

I felt…

 

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Something.

The quiet reverence moved me.

And it’s simplicity filled me with a feeling of utter…..

Peace.

 

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No.

I’m not signing up for bible study and I won’t be saying bless you child with every second breath.

But I didn’t burst into flame upon entry either… so that was a good sign.

Downstairs, in the little gift store where the husband went to buy something for a co worker who moonlights as a pastor, I overheard the saleswoman say that many people experience odd feelings when entering this church.

I found out later that the building site is actually one of Sedona’s famous spiritual vortexes. A cross point between energy fields in the earth’s grid system. There’s a lot of woo woo surrounding the vortex phenomena …. but Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids are also built on such sites.

So who knows?

Maybe I was touched by an ancient Druid.

 

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Anyway you look at it….

 

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It was a beautiful place.

 

 

And I’m very glad we went.

 

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Even if we didn’t get to pick the flowers.

 

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Or walk on the rocks.

 

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Geesh, for a laid back spiritual place they sure had a lot of rules.

 

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So after sucking up what healing vibes we could…

 

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We headed back down.

 

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Surrounded by those lovely red rocks.

 

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[;.

 

We also passed some interesting cactus on the way out.

The blooms on this one were like hard rubber.

 

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And then there was this spikey weirdo.

 

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And finally?

 

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The end.

 

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Of this post.

Not the Arizona trip series.

 

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A heavenly spot.

Let me preface this post by saying I’m the least religious person you’re ever apt to meet. So when numerous people told us we had to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona I was like….

Yeah.

I’ll get right on that.

But visit we did, and all I can say is…..

Wow.

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It’s a strange looking place at first glance. Seeming to rise out of the rocks themselves.

(Yes, dear readers…. there will be rocks in this post)

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Sitting on the top of a hill…

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I admit I was breathless by the time we reached it.

(And no, not with the Holy Spirit. With my out of shape, menopausal, slightly over 40 – stop laughing! – body.)

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But the view from on high?

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Worth a little gasping.

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It was at this point I told the husband I’d move to Arizona if we could live… there.

In that humble abode.

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We hadn’t even reached the church yet and I was in love.

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With what?

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With the rocks!

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Well…

We all know I will.

Rocks, Kachinas and naked reflections.

Let’s start with the reflections.

The resort where we were staying had a large master bath which was covered in tile. It also had a whirlpool tub as well as a shower, and the tub was surrounded by mirrors.

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Mind you, it was bad enough having to wake up in the morning and stare at myself sitting on the throne….

But stepping out of the shower and seeing 57 naked reflections of myself?

That’s the stuff of nightmares.

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Yeah.

That’s a whole lotta me.

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Sorry.

Moving on…

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Another trip to Flagstaff meant more red rocks.

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Good point Paul.

And some pretty stupid signs.

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Really?

I always thought they were transparent.

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This one really killed me.

In Maine, we don’t need warning signs for this. We see it as common sense, but like I said…

Arizona is a very different place.

While in Flagstaff, the husband dragged me through a few antique stores. We made it out empty handed until the final stop, where he wanted to buy this.

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Name That Crap.

Go….!

In retaliation, and since I still hadn’t found that special momento to take home, I made him visit the Kachina House.

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For those who don’t know…

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I’d seen these marvelous hand carved beauties at quite a few places…

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And fell in love with all their different stories…

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Most of which I can’t remember….

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But still.

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Aren’t they grand?

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No, I wouldn’t dream of it.

So after being shocked at the prices of Native American jewelry at the other store,  I decided the Mouse Warrior was coming home with me.

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Revered for his bravery and selflessness, the Warrior Mouse staked his own limbs to the ground and offered himself up to a hawk that had been stealing the tribe’s chickens… but our rodent hero ended up killing the dreaded bird of prey instead.

A martyr mouse? I liked it.

What I didn’t like was the $975 price tag.

Bye bye mouse.

I’m told people actively collect Kachinas and have display cases full of them, which would be lovely…. but a wee bit too costly.

So I did what every good tourist lady whose husband was looking over her shoulder does…

I hit the sale table.

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And got a nice piece of hand thrown, hand painted Hopi pottery…

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And an adorable seed pod wall hanging….

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Both signed by well known local Native American artists.

I also cheaped out and bought 3 miniature Kachinas for my desk.

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(Hummingbird, Mud Head and Kokopelli, from left to right.)

Not nearly as nice or intricately carved, but their price tag didn’t make my husband stroke out…. which is always a good thing when you’re on vacation.

It left a bad taste in my mouth.

Leaving the Grand Canyon, we saw this….

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And this…

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And then an awful lot of this…

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Which is basically nothing.

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Nothing but dry, barren, useless dirt and rock.

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And that my friends, is the Najavo nation reservation.

27,673 miles of nothing.

I’m not going to get political. I won’t rail against the government that stole their land and their culture. The government that forbade them to practice their religion or speak their language.  The government that slaughtered the buffalo, settled the plains, destroyed their way of life and shunted them on to large tracts of inhospitable land.

No, not me.

But I will post these pictures of what we saw.

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Poverty.

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And a once proud people…

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Now forced to try and make a few bucks off the passing tourists.

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I could make a joke about the jerky…

But my heart isn’t in it.

As we drove through this bleak landscape, we remembered a recommendation someone gave us about a place called the Cameron Trading Post… supposedly rich in Native American history with authentic Navajo food in the restaurant and lots of Indian art in the gift shop.

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Well, it certainly didn’t look Native American.

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And it’s rich history was basically two white men who traded with (and took advantage of) the Navajo years ago and made a fortune.

The authentic food? Navajo taco salad was the closest I saw.

We ordered dinner, which I didn’t photograph because it was absolutely inedible and had to be sent back.

Oh, there was Indian art… some of it made in China.

What was authentic? Astronomically expensive, marked up for tourists jewelry that I’m sure the Navajo artists saw very little profit from.

The food wasn’t the only thing that left a bad taste in my mouth.

Frozen fog and more man eating squirrels.

Is it strange that one of my favorite parts of the Grand Canyon was the section where we couldn’t see a damn thing?

Our last stop was the Desert Watchtower, and by the time we got there at the end of the day….

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Everything was touched by frozen fog.

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It was like walking into a sub zero fairyland.

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Misty.

Quiet.

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And utterly enchanting.

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But also cold AF.

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Inside as well as out.

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Seriously, you could see your breath in there.

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Hello?

Large fireplace…

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How about filling it with those overpriced books you’re trying to sell in the gift shop and lighting those babies up?

Tourists be shivering!

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As you can see, we couldn’t see.

Anything.

The canyon is right there, outside the windows… but you’d never know it.

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And thank you once again government shutdown for interfering with our vacation, we couldn’t even climb to the top.

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While the husband went outside to document some info on a plane crash…

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I found a reflectoscope….

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And more psychotic squirrel warnings.

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Leaving the tower…

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We walked back through the frozen fog…

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And marveled.

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At all the sugar coated flora..

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Still freezing…

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But glad to have experienced it.

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