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Sedona Supplement

Posted by on Jun 29, 11:49 AM
Filed under , | Comment [1]


We left the arid, parching heat of the desert for the cool shade of pine-clad hills before descending the sinuous switchbacks of Oak Creek Canyon, under looming red cliffs, into the trench below. A little creek purled between gray rocks to our right, hidden by lush foliage. The rich smell of fertility, and the sense of confinement between the canyon walls contrasted perfectly
with the open sparseness of the desert. A wonderful and refreshing contrast! If only you knew, reader, how I abhorred the desert—a feverish nightmare of inescapable heat, boredom, and frustration; I would rather 100 miles in green mountains than 10 under Apollo’s unmitigated gaze! His presence demands a libation—one poured from bottle into the middle of his rascally boyish face. But alas! circumstance only allowed the meager satisfaction of these rueful imaginings.
It was dark when we rounded a bend in the canyon above the glittering lights of Sedona. From there it was only several miles on to the village of Oak Creek, and our comfortable lodgings.
Our time in the Sedona area was spent both in recovery and energetically exploring the famous red rock trails

The rich smell of fertility, and the sense of confinement between the canyon walls contrasted perfectly with the open sparseness of the desert.

(incidentally lined with prickly pear and agave plants, evidence of which you can see at right!). And it was in a supremely undramatic accident that I became more closely acquainted with one of these large cacti: I pitched, or rather fell slowly with all my weight on one hand in the middle of large blue agave plant. The pain was excruciating because of the immense pressure exerted on so small a point; and indeed, I unable to close my fingers in a fist for some time, but the pain gradually subsided and I didn’t cease to enjoy the ride. After all, it was nothing to Andrew extracting a crystal from his body and subsequently finding he could levitate…
After the Schnebly Hill ordeal, we found ourselves again close to Flagstaff: 3 miles out, to be precise. And then an occurrence that happily changed our plans for the day. As I was some distance ahead of Andrew, I was first to see a vehicle parked just off the highway ahead. Not an unusual circumstance, mind you, but I had a premonition that this vehicle (not a police car) was parked there on my account. This suspician was reinforced by the fact that the window was down and, sure enough, as I approached, a voice called out: “Hey! Are you cycling across the country?” I slowed to a halt, answering in the affirmative.
“Are you cycling around the world?”
“yes.” After all, I had a sign on the back of my bike. But I wasn’t prepared for what came next…
“Your name is Randall, isn’t it?”
“Why, yes! How on earth did you know?!“I pulled my bike over to the side. A sun-tanned man of pleasant countenance with a well-trimmed gray beard and shiny bald head got out of the car to meet me; and while I was going over the possible connections, I absentmindedly shook his hand and handed him a card “Nice to meet you, surely…” Had we met before? Had he seen me on the news, or in the papers? And he informed me, after enjoying my bemusement for a bit, that it was he whom I had contacted on warmshowers.org several weeks before (a reciprocal hospitality network for cycle tourers), he whose reply had been buried deep in the abyss of disorganization I call my email inbox.

If it wasn’t for the kindness of erstwhile strangers such as these, the enjoyability of our trip would pale dismally, and homesickness, I imagine, would poison the peace of our hearts.

Needless to say, my surprise and commingled elation were intense, but as is often the case with a melancholic, directed inwardly.
Brian Blue and his family were remarkably hospitable, and we enjoyed our stay there immensely. Some families, for whatever reason, be it their natural kindness (or pity for two emaciated cycle tourists?) spark an immediate kinship, and we felt quite at home. If it wasn’t for the kindness of erstwhile strangers such as these, the enjoyability of our trip would pale dismally, and homesickness, I imagine, would poison the peace of our hearts.
We were sad to finally leave, but so we did. And if I hadn’t trod accidentally on my laptop screen several days ago, I’d certainly share pictures from our next stop as well, but that will simply have to wait. Until next time! Au Revoir!

Comments:

  1. Great to hear about your adventures! Your retelling of escapades is exquisite, as are the photos. Ouch, that agave plant must have hurt. Hope you have a safe rest of the trip across the US.

    Rachel W. · Jun 30, 06:18 AM · #

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