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The Land of Little Rain

6/7/07   The road from Holbrook south on AZ-377 to its junction with AZ-260 at Heber and then east was filled with spectacle.  We were delayed in Payson's Wally World from 11:00 AM until 3:30 PM while the pharmacist took care of 3/4 of my medication requirements.  We seized some of the time for a midday nap and then turned north through Strawberry and on through the Tonto National Forest and Camp Verde to Cottonwood and then north on AZ-87 through the even more Bell Rock in Coconinospectacular red rocks of Coconino National Forest to the Rancho Sedona RV Park in magnificent Sedona, AZ.  We were late in arriving so the Rancho Sedona was closed for the evening but instructions pointed us to a great location in the park where we succeeded in backing in and hooking up.  Since my only pictures for the day were of the campsite and its setting I will take this opportunity to introduce you non-campers to the bourgeois luxuries of one of the best campsites.  The setting for Rancho Sedona is about perfect as you can see from its foreground entrance with the walk-able artisans' shops in the mid-ground and the looming mesas in the background.   The restrooms/showers are made from native stone and adobe with handsome steps and landscaping details.  There are many sandstone benches for weary walkers and each site is perfectly level and complete with a patio surface and a handsome table.  There is a large ceremonial fire pit for transient community powwows and we even have a humming bird raising her family on the branch above our table.  Well within hearing distance a great blue heron is noisily redirecting and admonishing her offspring who are retorting with smart aleck attempts to cover the injuries suffered to their self esteem. 
Restrooms at Rancho Sedona Rio Sedona Patio Rancho Sedona Fire Pit Sedona Humming Bird

6/8/07 We spent our second day in Sedona relaxing in the campsite and by taking a bike ride to Uptown Sedona.  Diesel, of course, raised the issue of not being provided with his own bicycle and we had to remind him that he is still grounded to his leash due to several episodes of aggressiveness and backtalk.  About a 1/2 mile trail walk outside of the Rancho Sedona entrance with its view of a Cartoon Rose Mesa framed by arching tree branches, is a series of arts and crafts shops called Tlaquepaque.  We were very much tempted to have our auras reviewed at one of the many establishments apparently thriving on such psychic examinations.  It was a bit of a climb up out of the valley where our campground is located, but it was worth it for the better views that we had of the red rock towers around us.  Sedona is like a sort of Zen garden with un-defaced public sculptures and objects de photograph like this old buckboard placed beautifully around the town.  Avoid any thoughts of Disney World or the various Westworld places that you might have seen and think instead of what pretty towns like Easton or St. Michaels  would be like if the national government owned and protected everything outside of carefully defined city limits.   At the corner of AZ-89 and AZ-179 that marks the center of Sedona, there is a tasteful little resort with an inner courtyard looking out over Oak Creek and our tree hidden campground. 

Cartoon Rose Mesa Tiaquepaque Sedona Buckboard Sedona Inn

Turning north on AZ-89 we peddled up the hill to what is called Uptown Sedona with more shops and many adventure enterprises like hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides, and many off road Jeep and Hummer possibilities.  We made the choice of Pink Jeep Tours as our adventure vendor for the next morning and then made a  slow tour of the public sculptures before riding back to our campground for showers and dinner.

Uptown Sedona Sedona Statuesque Sedona Girl Antelope Meets Turtle

6/9/07 This was to be the day of our great Pink Jeep Tour adventure so we rose early and walked along the trail from our campsite to the place where we were to catch the free Sedona Roadrunner which would take us to the Pink Jeep Plaza tour departure location.  We met our other jeepmates and then mounted our trusty pink steed for a ride past our Mesa framing a more distant mesacampsite and up, up, up Schnebly Hill Road through the red rock towers with their protective basalt caps until we had reached the very top of the Mogollon Rim at about 6,200 ft. where we were photographed by our driver, Chris.  Think of the best tour leader that you have had, add a dash of élan and subtract all but one corny witticism and you have our geologist, botanist, and historian guide. 

Pink Jeep Red Rock Bill and Linda at Sedona Rim Sedona Rim

Our tour continued its harrowing way past a rounded plateau of slick Sedona, Arizoniarock called the Cow Pies where a gap in the mesa revealed another mesa behind it only veiled a little by the blueness of distance.  Next we passed a set of chessboard figures and got a better view of a broken basalt ridge topping before returning to have lunch at the Wildflower Bread Company and walking back to our camp.

Cow Piles Sedona Overview End of Day Sedona Sunset

6/10/07 We spent the late morning through early afternoon at the high end shopping and eating complex called Tlaquepaque.  Linda made a purchase of some bling before we had lunch at a great Mexican restaurant.  After our dinner this evening, we will pack up and get ready to say a reluctant goodbye to Sedona in the morning before heading north on AZ-89 through Flagstaff to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Tiaquepaque Courtyard Tiaquepaque Stairs to upper level Tiaquepaque Burro Court Tiaquepaque Hopi Maiden Tiaquepaque Animals
6/11/07 We departed the Rancho Sedona at about 8:30 AM and drove around West Sedona for a while trying to find a place that could repair or replace Linda's cell phone which died an untimely death several days ago.  Failing in or efforts we drove on north on 89A rising to a little more than 7,000 ft. through beautiful gouging of red rock canyons.  We dog-eyed carefully through Flagstaff in our continuing search for a cellular outlet but concluded that they must be treated like tattoo parlors or bordellos out here and hidden in the dark corners of bad neighborhoods.  We continued nearly alone on AZ-89 to the dusty little town of Cameron and then turned west onto AZ-64 for the remaining trek to the east entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park where a quick flash of my Golden Age Passport gained us free access.  Our first stop in the park was Desert View where we oohed and aahed for a while and I received some admonishments from my bride for seeking out "dangerous" locations for taking my pictures.  Next we climbed to the top of the 70 ft. Watchtower built in 1932.  On this tower's walls Native American artist Fred Kabote painted murals depicting Hopi legends.  We bolted from Desert View before we wanted, but we had become concerned about getting a campsite in the Trailer Village where they were available only on a first come first served basis.  We were successful and after setting up, I rode my bike to the store where I secured some necessary supplies.
GC first view Fred Kabote Mural Linda in Watchtower Staircase in Watchtower

6/12/07 Our  first morning in the Trailer Village was bright and very cold GC with Cloudsso we waited until the sun had warmed things up a little before we set off on a walk north past the Shrine of the Ages to the Rim Trail where we took our first pictures and then walked east to the Yavapai Observation Center.  There we caught the Blue Shuttle Bus for a ride around theVillage Route to get our first look at Hopi House, El Tovar Hotel, Kachina Lodge, the Train Station, and Bright Angel Lodge.  We reconnoitered the Hermits Rest transfer to the Red Shuttle Bus line,Grand Canyon Sweet andthen continued past Maswik Lodge and the back country mule corral to return to our campground. After lunch and a Diesel walk, we again caught the Blue Shuttle for another ride around the village to the Hermits Rest transfer point where we rode, stopped, and snapped our way through Maricopa Point, Powell Point, Hopi Point, Mohave Point, The Abyss, and Pima Point to the Hermits Rest at the end of the trail.

   GC South Rim Map

GC Village Rim Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Hopi Point

When I first visited the Grand Canyon in 1977, I had gotten a room at the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim until I could get a back country camping permit and had then spent the next week hiking the canyon from the North Rim to an ascent of the South Rim on the Bright Angel Trail then hitched a ride to the South Kaibab Trailhead and descended into the canyon for another three day trip back to the North ComposedRim.  On first reaching the South Rim, I had been horrified at the degree of development that had taken place with all of the lodges and the other tourist infrastructure.  Thirty years later, I am not such a purist and the old lodges seem to blend into the contours of the canyon rim. The shuttle buses run on natural gas and are quiet and clean with cheerful and knowledgeable people piloting them.  I still hate the mules and their riders who smash the trails into dust rivers with their big clunky feet as they carry lazy adventurers to an air conditioned overnight stay at the Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the canyon. 

Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Hopi House Sunrise at Hopi Point

6/13/07  I got up at 4:25 AM to ride the Blue Shuttle and the Red Shuttle to Hopi Point for the sunrise.  I set up my video camera on its tripod and let it run for 15 minutes as the shadows slowly spread across the canyon mesas while I took a few Hopi Point ridge at sunrisestills and watched a herd of female elk as they took their morning repast.  Then I returned to Maswik Lodge and pursued another herd of elk as they munched their way along the railroad tracks into Bright Angel. 

We broke camp at about 8:30 AM and drove south on AZ-180 to Williams where we rejoined historic Route 66 (I-40) west to Kingman and paid our now traditional homage to Wally World.  As we are driving along the highways we have been singing a paraphrase of the Counting Crows "A Long December" lines:
"And it's one more day up in the canyon; And it's one more night in Hollywood."  Our version goes: "And it's one more night up in the canyon; And it's one more day in Wally World."

Las Vegas

Musings Index

Another 9/11 Anniversary

Baryogenesis

How Did Here Get Here?

Chase's 7th Birthday

The Fabric of Reality

A Clockwork Orange

Epistomology Strand

The Grand Inquisitor

Consumerism Versus Genocide

Art for Art's Sake

Edvard Munch

Vasili Kandinsky

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Piet Mondrian

Kasemir Malevich

Rene Magritte

Salvador Dali

Evolutionary Strand

Information Theory Strand

Traversable Wormholes

Awareness Communicated

Mimetic Theory

The Mother Singularity

Mimetic Theory

The Standard Model

Thought and Symbol

The Schwarzschild Radius

Symbolic Technologies

Dark Things

Fukuyama on Transhumanism

Are We There Yet?

A Transhumanist Manifesto

The Arrows of Time

A Quantum Telescope

Epiphenomenalism

Transhumanism As Entitlement

The Road to Reason

Persistence of Memes

Now What?

Instantiated Consciousness

Commandments

Evolution of God

Shamanism

The Rise of Yahweh

Semitic Origins

Muhammad

Galileo's Commandment

The Relevancy of Science

The Bible

The Quran

Marketing God

Adam and Eve

Cain and Abel

Noah and the Ark

Procreation Management

Machining a New Soul

The Human Codon Alphabet

Symbiotic Colony

The Moist Robot

Bottom Up Genealogy

The Genetic Revolution

The Nanotechnology Revolution

The Robotic Revolution

Universal Information Processing

Memetic Matryoshka

Holonomic Brain Theory

Introduction to Wetware

Seeing in a Quantum World

Thinking In the Quantum World

What's the Matter?

What's the Purpose?

Post Primordial Nucleosynthesis

The CNO Cycle

The Genesis Stone

Protocells

Chemistry to Biochemistry

A Model of the Neocortex

Nonlocality Entanglement

Biochemistry to Neurobiology

Molecular History

Under the Tree of Life

Matter Conclusion

Resurrection

Socratic Aestheticism

A Mind in a Cloud

Eschatology

From the Other Side

Marcel Duchamp

Pablo Picasso

Echos of Ray Bradbury

Entropy

Introns

Formative Books

Herculaneum's Library

Roman Public Libraries

Lucretius

Epicurius

Religious Pluralism

Thermoinfocomplexity

Diagnostic Irregularities

Quantum Decohesion

Quantum Free Will

Three Wise Men

Pattern Recognition

Consciousness and the Iliad

The Alphabetic Principle

Iran Itinerary