Saturday, October 10, 2009

On the Road in Arizona

by Pa Rock
Road Warrior

It was a beautiful two days in Arizona's high country!

Yesterday we left Phoenix early and climbed steadily for a couple of hours until reaching beautiful Sedona (at about 6,000 feet above sea level) where we lunched and shopped. The highlight of Sedona for Boone was a visit to the UFO Store where he posed for a picture with a genuine alien and his spaceship, and came away with an Obama-as-an-alien tee shirt. The young lady who was working at the UFO Store had recently quit a four-year stint at Sprint. She said that she liked selling alien merchandise much better than working for Sprint because at the UFO Store she could have her hair any color that she wanted. (What a great job benefit!)

The UFO Store in Sedona has a genuine housing for a Triton missile that is for sale. Hurry up - it won't last long! (Talk about provocative yard art! The macaroons in Phoenix would cream their jeans over something suggestive of that much fire power - even without its innards!)

I have a small, but growing, collection of "Day of the Dead" figurines. The three skeletal pieces that I had prior to this sojourn were a bride, a janitor, and a little girl - all from previous trips to San Antonio. In fact, the little girl, a Peruvian craft, was purchased at the Alamo. Yesterday, I found a skeletal dog in Sedona to add to the collection. The dead pooch figurine (also a product of Peru) now has a place of honor on the bookcase beside the rest of his new dead family.

We stayed at an Econo Lodge on Highway 17 in Flagstaff last night. It was very nice and reasonably priced. Dinner was at the Galaxy Diner - a large eatery that is awash in photo's from Hollywood's heyday and Route 66 memorabilia. (Route 66 passed through Flagstaff.) An older fellow was playing guitar as we dined on really great food. (I had a fried egg sandwich that was to die for - and it came with a side of the best fried potatoes and onions that I have had since my mother's passing more than two decades ago!) We got there just in time, because five bus loads of French tourists swarmed the place right after we ordered. The ambiance was completed by an antique car show that was taking place in the parking lot.

After dinner we went to Bookman's, a huge used bookstore that Andy Cleeton and I discovered when we visited Flagstaff ten years ago. I managed to get out with only making a couple of unnecessary purchases!

Today we headed for the Grand Canyon which is about sixty miles from Flagstaff. The drive was beautiful, wending through Ponderosa pine and white birch trees. There were signs along the highway warning us to be on the lookout for large animals - deer, elk, and even cows. Tim saw some deer off in the distance, but the only one that I observed was dead and being loaded into the back of a pickup by a trio of hunters sporting guns and wearing camouflage garb.

Our one stop before the Grand Canyon was at a rustic trading post where I had taken Boone's picture standing under a large rack of antlers two years ago. (The photo turned out great, and I still tell people that it is of my twelve-point grandson!) Today I took the photo again, just for comparative purposes. The trading post has lots of great stuff, including much in the way of native American crafts. I bought a small piece of horsehair pottery signed by the artisan who produced it.

After we tithed twenty-five dollars to the National Park Service, we got into the park and spent considerable time looking for a place to park. After that tedious task was accomplished, we walked along the south rim of the Grand Canyon and took snapshots of each other standing on various promontories. The day was beautiful, sort of a crisp autumnal experience. The Grand Canyon was, and hopefully always will be, breath-taking!

And now we are safely back in the Valley of Hell. The boys have a flight to civilization early in the morning. They will be missed!

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