Tuesday, September 1, 2015
We keep getting out of bed at 4:30 local time. It still seems like oversleeping, since we’re usually up between 6 and 6:30 at home.
Another fine breakfast at Whispering Creek B & B this morning. The couple we’re now calling J & J (because their names each start with J and also because we’re B & B) were at breakfast again this morning. Another couple, quite a bit younger, showed up also. They’re from NYC and are driving to California in a rented car. They wanted to see the country but apparently don’t want to see it twice because they’re going to fly home.
We decided to stay in and near Sedona today, so started the day visiting scenic byways along State Highway 179 south of town. We parked the car at the Bell Rock byway and walked mostly uphill to within a hundred yards of the formation. As we approached, we saw people standing on the thing, very high off the ground. How they got there is anyone’s guess. We walked as far as we thought necessary to get good vibes from the vortex, then headed back to the car. A number of people on bicycles, mostly of advanced age, pass us on the trail heading upward toward the rock. Must be something about that thing that makes old people want to get there fast.
We met Pam on the trail, a woman from Boston whose husband was back at the hotel swimming pool. She was huffing and puffing in the heat, and she had failed to bring water along. She was getting thirsty, and for that reason decided to cut her hike short and head back to find her husband. She said that everyone who hears her speak guesses she’s from NYC. She said that because I guessed that she was from NYC.
We later visited Chapel Rock, a big rock containing a Catholic church. Who should we run into there but Pam from Boston, along with her husband. He looked refreshed after his morning swim. Somehow it came up in our conversation that South Bend is our hometown. Pam’s husband couldn’t help but mention Boston College, nemesis of Notre Dame. There’s always something to talk about with strangers.
After a brief visit to the chapel, we stopped at several interesting spots along Highway 179. Look anywhere and see something wonderful. You just can’t help reaching for your phone or camera to take another shot. I wonder how many photos are snapped each day in Arizona. Too bad for Kodak that we don’t need them anymore.
After seeing sites south of Sedona, we visited a number of shops along the road. The first was a little shop that sold, among other things, nutritious and organic smoothies. I struck up a conversation with the young woman who makes the smoothies and discovered that her hometown is LaPorte, IN. She has been in Sedona for two weeks, and has filed an application to Glendale Community College to enroll in their PA program. Nice kid. Her mom is a psychologist and lives nearby.
We stopped in Tlaquepaque next and visited about 3,431 art shops. I’m not kidding. At least that many. It was grueling, but we made it without buying one work of art. One shop, containing rocks and other naturally beautiful things, had a massive geode for sale. Asking price was $10,000. The thing must weigh 500 pounds, and both halves are displayed just inside the front door of the shop.
Another interesting place is the Navarro Gallery, which contains the amazing bronze works of Chris Navarro. Many other shops were equally impressive. I saw many things I’d like to look at every day, but most of them were very costly and we’d rather have enough money to return home after this trip.
We had lunch in Tlaquepaque at a place called The Secret Garden Cafe. Scott served us. He does refrigeration work when he’s not waiting tables. His brother joined him in the area a while back because of marital problems. They are honest guys and will not rip anyone off. Scott said that he only gets calls on his cell phone for his refrigeration business when he’s not actively serving a table. That works out pretty nice for him. He attributes this fact to divine intervention. Try the Taos Club sandwich for lunch. Very nice.
I think we walked about 83 miles today. I’m not kidding. We finished the day downtown in Sedona, eating Italian fare at the Sedona Pizza Company and wondering exactly how many miles we had walked. Yes, it seems like all we did today was eat and walk. But we also talked to many people, including a lady at a shop whose name I don’t recall. She was a school teacher in several states. Her husband is a school psychologist and was having two interviews today for part time jobs as a school psychologist somewhere in the area. She was very much hoping he would get one of those jobs. I suppose he’s been underfoot too long, probably making her life miserable. I didn’t get a chance to ask her because she was summoned to help a customer. I hope, for her sake as well as her husband’s, that he got a job offer.
We’re checking out of the Whispering Creek B & B tomorrow.
“Where should we go tomorrow?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“Let’s see what we feel like in the morning.”
“Yes, let’s see which way the wind is blowing.”