Tag Archives: arizona

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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Oh, deer.

Because it’s not always about rocks.

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(I have no idea what that means, but I’m running out of rock memes)

As we started to drive out of the Grand Canyon National Park…

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We passed a mule deer.

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And then a whole herd.

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They’re sweet little things.

Much smaller than what we have here in Maine….

Did you know there’s a village inside the park?

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Complete with lodges…

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And cottages…

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That need carpet cleaners?

I didn’t. It never occurred to me that there would be anything other than natural, pristine wilderness.

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But there was a train station…

And studios, an amphitheater and a market.

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There were also some pretty impressive icicles.

Told you it was cold!

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Having been dutifully warned of the traffic…

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We turned on Desert View Drive, where we didn’t view any desert….

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But did run into frozen fog….

Which, when it sticks to the trees and bushes?

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Is almost magical.

Monument Creek Vista and hermit reunions.

 

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This was the last scenic pull off we visited on the Hermit Road at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

 

 

Don’t get too excited, the saga isn’t over yet.

 

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This particular spot was stunning.

The grandeur…

 

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The colors…

 

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The hermits.

 

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But it was cooooold.

So cold.

 

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And though there were captivating things to read about rocks…

 

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I took my last picture… and jumped into the warm car.

But wait.

Could it be?

 

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Had I really found it…?

 

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The official site of Hermit reunions!

Who knew.

The abyss….

 

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Creepy meme aside, I meant this abyss.

 

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South Rim, Grand Canyon.

 

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Was it deeper than any of the other chasms we saw that day?

I don’t know.

When you’ve seen one giant gaping hole….

 

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I have to admit, as grand (and impressive, and majestic, and awe inspiring, and wondrous) as it was… and it really was! After an entire day ducking in and out of scenic vistas and taking pictures of holes and rocks in the frigid wind, my mind’s eye was looking elsewhere.

 

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Trees?

Sure…

 

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Placards about ravens?

Why not.

 

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Obligatory cell phone panoramic?

Check.

 

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Husband walking?

Yeah, I only have 11,786 of those.

 

 

Short video clip?

Sorry, that too.

 

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Because Hell, when it feels like 4 below and you can no longer feel your feet? Sometimes rocks are just…

Rocks.

 

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Well, yes.

There is that.