Tag Archives: travel

Chatting up an elk at Hopi Point

Did I mention the Grand Canyon was cold that day?

Well, it was.

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And hour after hour we were jumping in the car… not nearly long enough to warm up…. and then jumping out of the car to explore the next site.

When we hit Hopi Point?

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I sat in the car for a while and conversed with an elk while I got some circulation back in my fingers.

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Not the greatest conversationalists, elk.

But to be fair, this one had his (her?) mouth full, so I might have missed key parts of the witty repartee..

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After a while I ventured out…

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And was struck speechless by the sheer grandeur.

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Alright, I wasn’t speechless.

But there was no one around and the elk wasn’t listening… so cut me some slack.

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This section of the canyon was majestic.

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If you’re into wide open, vast chasms of rock that could swallow you whole.

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It wasn’t pretty, per se….

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But raw, stark beauty is striking in its own right.

A guy named Powell….

Powell Point Memorial.

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At the end of Powell Point.

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Named for a guy named Powell.

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Who says my posts aren’t educational?

Well…okay.

But they do have pretty pictures.

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Walking out to the end of Powell Point was a frigid experience….

The wind was frigid, snapping my hair into my face like a whip. It felt like it was 4 below.

And I could no longer feel my nose.

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Whew.

Red… but still there.

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I scurried around, taking pictures.

Thinking, yeah… if it was 50 degrees warmer I’d sit a spell.

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But the husband was happily climbing around.

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Exploring every last square inch.

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And that’s the thing about the Grand Canyon….

There are lots of inches to discover.

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Including this fuzzy elk butt that was pointing at the car window when I got in.

Damn.

I love nature.

Man eating squirrels and elk poo.

Next stop at the Grand Canyon was Powell Point, where we were greeted by a miniature snowman…

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And a terrifying sign.

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Most dangerous creature in the canyon?

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Who knew…

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Powell Point is like a small park.

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With spectacular views.

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Which apparently the elk like as well….

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As evidenced by their footprints…

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And their…

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Well, just watch where you walk.

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Powell Point is aptly named as it juts out into the canyon like a point.

And even there…

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The husband couldn’t escape the machines that plague his every waking hour at work.

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Don’t tempt him Heston.

Really…. don’t.

And then there were elk.

Because there’s more to see in the Grand Canyon than just rocks…

There are elk.

We were driving down the road, and there they were.

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Happily munching away.

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And not paying us a bit of attention.

So close I could have reached out and touched one.

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But they tend to frown on that…

So I just happily took pictures.

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Sometimes of myself.

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Elk are impressive, if somewhat goofy creatures.

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Though hard to take seriously when they have that giant target on their butts.

Roads and fences don’t stand in their way…

So neither did we.

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But come on….

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Those big fluffy butts are really begging for a pat.

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I could have happily spent all day watching them…

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But there were more rocks up ahead.

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It’s still grand….

Do you ever have those silly arguments with your significant other? (You know the ones… they’re always wrong, but don’t want to admit it.)

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When we left Mather’s Point at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon I wanted to turn right and explore various points on the rim trail. He wanted to turn left and drive 20 miles to the watchtower, then 20 miles back to explore the rest and then repeat the first 20 miles because we’d be exiting that way. This made no sense, but he did it anyway because he was driving.

A mile or so down the road?

Even the weather knew I was right.

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We turned around.

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If you’ve never been to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon  (Go! What are you waiting for?)  it’s set up something like this –  long main road with lots of pullouts for scenic views. Some are large with parking lots, monuments and information placards… some just small vacant outcrops.

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We hit them all…. and the husband was like a kid in a candy store.

Awed.

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The experience makes you feel small, insignificant.

And that’s not always a bad thing…

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At Maricopa Point we read some history…

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Climbed a lot of stairs.

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Admired the view.

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Not bad.

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Not bad at all…

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Read some more history…

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And I answered…

When the husband asked if I wanted to go down and join those hikers on the trail.

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See those little specks?

Hikers.

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Hell, with his habit of always wanting to go the wrong way?

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We’d never find our way back out.

It was aptly named….

 

Day 9 of our trip arrived and we headed north west out of Sedona.

 

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Which pretty much looked like this….

 

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For miles on end.

Our destination?

 

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And I was seriously hoping we wouldn’t find the golden arches at the bottom.

It was a little over a 2 hour ride, and then we saw…

 

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Hey, Fred. Long time no see…. say hello to Wilma for us.

And finally, we were there.

 

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The Grand Canyon has always been on the top of husband’s bucket list. Me? Not so much, but he was happy… which made me happy.

And that’s what marriage is all about.

 

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Well, yes.

That too.

Our first stop at the Canyon was the visitors center because…. well…  a 2 hour ride and a quart and a half of Gatorade do not mix.

 

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Naturally, it was closed due to the government shutdown and I had to pee behind a bush. (Not like it was the first time, and no… there aren’t any photos)

Let me take a minute to give a shout out to all the Park Rangers and volunteers who kept the Grand Canyon National Park open for tourists like us who had traveled a long way to be there. We appreciated it.

You rock!

 

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So we walked… and yes, that’s snow.

We came, we saw, we froze.

Like idiots we picked the coldest day of our trip to visit, and it was a good 20 degrees cooler at the canyon due to the elevation.

Windy?

Uh, yeah…..

 

 

But we didn’t care.

 

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We were at the Grand Canyon…

 

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And it was grand.

 

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Yes, it’s a giant hole in the ground….

 

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But oh, what a glorious hole it is.

 

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First stop was Mather’s Point..

 

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Which was pretty spectacular.

 

 

 

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And even though I never really thought I wanted to be there?

 

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Once I was…

 

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I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

 

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I fear I’m going to run out of adjectives long before I run out of pictures.

 

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Because it was just that good!

 

 

 

And though my photos and videos will never do it justice?

I’m going to flood you with them anyway…

It’s what I do.

 

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So… bloggers?

 

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Grand Canyon is coming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ravens, balls, and a giant chicken.

In other words, a post with random photographs that don’t merit their own blog.

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Have I mentioned that driving around Sedona, Arizona is beautiful?

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Well, it is.

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Majestic. Grand. And at times breathtaking …

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Yeah, it really does.

We drove, we explored… and never knew what was around the next bend.

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Sometimes it was giant chickens.

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Other times, rocks that wore hair nets.

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We saw houses built on every imaginable rock ledge..

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And ravens.

Ravens everywhere….

“Often honored among Native American medicine & holy men for its shape-shifting qualities, the Raven was called upon in ritual so that visions could be clarified.  Native holy men understood that what the physical eye sees, is not necessarily the truth, and he would call upon the Raven for clarity in these matters.

Foremost, the Raven is the Native American bearer of magic, and a harbinger of messages from the cosmos.  Messages that are beyond space and time are nestled in the midnight wings of the Raven and come to only those within the tribe who are worthy of the knowledge.”

I don’t know how magical they were… or what message they were bringing.

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But the owner of this truck left his garbage bags in the bed.

Bad idea.

Very bad…

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On the way to Flagstaff,  we crossed a bridge…

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And I saw a giant silver eagle perched on a store filled with Indian jewelry.

I pointed.

I yelped.

I might have squeeeed in delight.

And the husband read my subtle display as a signal to stop.

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The large silver deer was equally as impressive… and then we went inside.

Holy Mother of God…. it was divine! Case after case of stunning Native American silver and stone jewelry from every artist and tribe imaginable. I’d been wanting to bring a nice piece home with me and hit the jackpot here as far as selection. I happily roamed the aisles, eyes bugging out with glee and tried to decide which little lovely would be riding my wrist, finger or ears in the near future.

(No pictures allowed, sorry)

I finally narrowed it down to 3 pieces. Earrings, a ring and a necklace. I could feel the husband sweating from across the room… and I knew the wallet was going to take a hit, but come on. I’m worth it.

You know what? I’m not.

Not even close.

Earrings?  $2,100

Ring?  $3,200

Necklace?  (I think the husband may have fainted as this point)  $5,450

Yeah. For silver.

The prices were enough to make even me gulp.

And leave empty handed.

Now…

Can we talk about balls for a minute?

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I’m seeing balls in every resort we visit.

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Balls in every shape, size, texture and color.

Yes, balls.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just wondering why everyone has suddenly jumped on the balls bandwagon.

Random rocks.

Beautiful Ygritte Meme Game of Thrones Fantasy Football Team Names

 

Oh sure, you’re fine if  Jon Snow presents them.

 

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After hiking Red Rocks State Park, we drove around and looked at….

 

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Rocks!

 

 

(Come on, were you really expecting anything else?)

 

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We did pass this….

 

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Whatever this was.

 

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Is he climbing in.. or out?

 

 

Who cares?

It’s weird… and built with red rocks. That’s enough for me.

 

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Yeah, probably.

 

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As we were driving, a storm started brewing…

 

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The eerie kind…

 

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Where the light takes on that spooky, it’s time to rock and roll! hue.

 

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The colors were amazing.

 

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By the time we got to uptown Sedona…

 

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It was raining…

 

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And the pink jeep tour people were wrapped in plastic.

 

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Not really….

Saran Wrap was never my color.

A Red Rocks washout…

 

After our fruitless climb and search for the Apache Fire House, we kept walking.

 

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Trying to avoid my husband’s Kryptonite. Seriously, any interaction with this evil plant sends my other half to the emergency room.

And he gets it everywhere.

Need I say more?

 

 

We walked some easy paths….

 

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And some that lead to benches.

 

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Personally, I think I could have found that without a stone rimmed path… but I’ve always been good with directions.

And in the distance? That damned house we couldn’t find…

I mean, crikey!

It was right there.

 

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But we found interesting tree bark… so smooth and spotted, it almost looked painted.

 

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Yes, that’s how boring these posts have become.

I’m talking about tree bark.

 

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We found a classroom…

 

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Where the husband waited in vain for a teacher.

 

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Then scanned our information leaflet and found another trail that would eventually lead to the Apache Fire House. I said, “Let’s go!”

No ruined shell of a building was going to beat me.

 

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But of course…

 

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It did.

And I learned that the least amount of rain can cause flash floods and washouts in this part of the world.

 

 

 

So I admitted defeat, cursed the house we couldn’t reach…..

 

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And called it a day.

We walked past an outdoor arena…

 

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Back to the visitor center…

 

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Found a hummingbird garden with no hummingbirds….

 

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And a strawberry hedgehog cactus…

That looked nothing like a strawberry or a hedgehog.

 

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Exactly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Red Rocks trail to nowhere….

Entering Red Rocks State Park…

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It was almost 60 degrees.

At what point do you think they remove that sign?

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There was a long bridge…

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Over what we in Maine would call a stream.

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We walked….

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Not always on the trails.

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I spotted part of the Apache Fire House…

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And said wth.

It’s right there, let’s go take a look.

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So we walked on paths.

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And through the woods.

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Sometimes literally.

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We climbed.

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And climbed.

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And climbed.

And I wondered where the hell we were going because it was right there.

When we got near the top of the Apache Fire Trail?

Named for the Apache Fire House?

The damned thing was way the hell on the other side.

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I know!

Somewhere, some evil trail planner was doing this….

Without giving a thought to the poor flatlander lady tourist who had altitude sickness and no booze.

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We climbed up a little higher…

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But still couldn’t get to it.

Yeah. Kind of like that…

Except your feet hurt and you’re out of breath.

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Granted, down was easier than up.

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Probably because I was busy envisioning the trail planner’s fiery demise with every step…

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I hardly even appreciated all the wonderful red rocks.

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My bad.