Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Almost two weeks later

Sitting here in Mystic I keep thinking back to the Grand Canyon.

Still Grand! I'm still going back.

Late April?

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I noticed this week that I was much more relaxed when hiking back then hiking out on a trail. That while I enjoyed the hike out it was more a walk of discovery, while the walk back lent its self more to inner reflection. I think today feels much like the hiking back part.

At sunrise I walked out to Courthouse Butte. Very cool. The dirt too.

And I realized I need to figure out what I want to do, then where it would be best to do it. I love being outdoors. Looking around here and all the places I've been who wouldn't? And yet still there is a need to do and to produce that is part of the place but also more. I don't want my job and life to be separate, and I want to live as much in the outdoors as possible.

This morning as I was walking around the Butte, my Aslo's kicking up the red dust, and my leg still hurting a bit from yesterday I saw a footprint in the dirt. Not a dog, or a deer, or a horse, or a reebok, or TNF but a human footprint. I took off my boots and enjoyed the rest of the walk in my bare feet.


Sunrise on the Airport Mesa, Sunset at the Spinx - and I am exhausted. Oh and Heavos Ranchero's for Breakfast!

Hiked into Boynton Canyon and it was a great hike. The weather and micro climates here are amazingly varied, as are the trails. I tried to get a few "trail" shots mostly because the ones here as so different from other's I've been on. This one pretty much caputures it. At this point I was in shorts and wishing I was not in a thermal techwich top and had carried more than one bottle of water. It was hot!

Things were much different at the end of the canyon. At one point the trail turns south. I rounded a corner by an alligator pine (very aptly named) and I swear the temperature dropped 15 degrees. So by the end of the trail, when I was eating an excellent humus wrap and basking in the energy of the canyon, I was thankful for the thermal and also wearing a microfleece. The hike out was good. These rocks are amazing.

Next I hiked a bit of the Soldier's Pass trail to the Seven Pools. Then back tracked and sat one of of the red rock aprons beneath "The Spinx."

Not only is the geography here amazing, but so too the plants. It's like the entire place is landscaped. Evereything in its place and perfect. This tree at the Seven Pools is just one example.

By the end of today I was exhausted and I'll confess, a bit lame. So after a margaretta and an excellent artichoke and pesto pizza I crashed at the hotel. It took awhile before I wanted to turn on the TV and then I turned it off. It's been nice without it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Today I got to see many new and amazing sides of Arizona.
First was a visit to Sunset Volcano. You can't actually go into the crater, but there is a trail up a cinder pile and through a lava field. Sunset mountain blew its top only 1000 years ago. What is even more impressive to realize geology-wise is that this whole area is full of volcanos. They speculate that the whole San Francisco range was one giant volcano at one time.

But back to Sunset Mountain. Apparently when it blew or coincidental with it blowing two types of native American settlements were formed. One of peublo houses to the North and another, or cliff houses to the south. I visited both, and gosh was a place of endless resources and variation. On the one hand it's flat, but its not, there are these giant mountains and then these deep canyons. And yet through it all, the place is vast and open and yet one feels comfortable. The forest here, and there are some huge Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Firs throughout are amazing, but still they're open.

Oh and one other thing. This whole fear of heights thing. I don't seem to have it here. Nor do these cute guys. We got aquainted on the rim of Walnut Canyon.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Soul Retrieval

First off, let me say historic Flagstaff is a cool town. Cool people, cool restaurants, cool shops, and again – those cool Arizona people. This is a shot of Flagstaff from right outside the hostel. We’re looking North, across the railroad and RT 66. And it was that very route that I took North to 89 to 64 to the Grand Canyon.

I debated on putting this out there in public – but I can think of no other way to describe my feelings about the Grand Canyon – so here goes. I have always thought of the soul as something vast and open beneath the relatively flat, calm exterior.
The Grand Canyon in 3-Dimensional model of the soul – mine at least. Standing there on Desert View Rim was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Descending into it, although only 2000 feet is again beyond words but my soul sure felt at home. Felt a few others with me as well.

This is a shot taken from where I ate a snickers bar, tanned, and turned around.

This is a shot of the same place taken from the main overlook.

Then the full moon rose.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Je suis ici

...or as they say in English. I am here!

Other than that I'm pretty speachless. Detail-wise the flight went really well, it was/is a beautiful clear day. With the recent snow among the trees and buildings in the midwest more than half the country looked like a pointalist drawing.

Phoenix is a travesty against nature, but it was warm and the people really nice.

So I headed due north up I-17 and stopped an hour later at Arcosanti. An architectural experiment on how people could co-exist with the desert and live in community. It's only in the beginning stages. I took the tour with Joanne. A local horse rancher, and Berkeley grad who just loves the place. Stopping in the bakery on the way out I met Kim who grew up in Woodbury but came to Arconsanti to cast the bells. (I'll fill this in later or you can check out their website) Again very cool people.

Back on I-17 and over the ridge(?) into the Verde Valley. Oh my god! and then I saw the rocks to the North West. So...took the road to Sedona. Airport Mesa. Oak Creek Canyon. Again Speachless. (And that's saying a lot for me).

Now however, it's time to eat!